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  #31  
Unread 01-24-2021, 05:09 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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I watched the videos Martin linked to in post #27. I found the one at the women's summit at Forbes magazine quite uncomfortable to watch. I really don't associate (or want to associate) poetry with corporate events where the poet seems to have been contractually obliged to shoehorn the name of the corporation into the poem a specified amount of times, which is what seemed to be happening here. The ostensibly feminist nature of the event didn't really redeem it for me. Isn't Forbes the magazine that basically exists to make uncritical lists of the world richest people, like a kind of capitalist soft porn?

What she writes, and this type of writing in general, seems to be in the business of speechifying around a number of already established safe, liberal talking points. It's designed to be inspirational and to tell people what they want to hear and is ultimately comforting rather than thought provoking or challenging. And nobody standing in front of a giant Forbes banner can claim to be challenging any kind of status quo.
So, yes, it uses "poetic techniques": alliteration, metaphor, chiasmus etc but so do political speeches. It fails as poetry, for me, in that I get the sense it already knows, and is giving, exactly what its audience want to hear.

That doesn't mean it fails as an effective thing. On this occasion it was just right. What the audience wanted to hear, after four years of Trump, was an inspirational, inclusive message of "we can be better than this". Which is true, of course, but also a very low bar. Genuine poetry and party politics don't really mix, but this kind of poetry and party politics mix perfectly.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 01-24-2021 at 02:00 PM. Reason: idiom fail: shoehorn not crowbar..
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  #32  
Unread 01-24-2021, 05:57 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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https://womens.theharvardadvocate.co...for-my-sisters

This one breaks the oratory mold.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 01-24-2021 at 06:20 AM.
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  #33  
Unread 01-24-2021, 07:02 AM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark McDonnell View Post
I watched the videos Martin linked to. I found the one at the women's summit at Forbes magazine quite uncomfortable to watch. I really don't associate (or want to associate) poetry with corporate events where the poet seems to have been contractually obliged to crowbar the name of the corporation into the poem a specified amount of times, which is what seemed to be happening here. The ostensibly feminist nature of the event didn't really redeem it for me. Isn't Forbes the magazine that basically exists to make uncritical lists of the world richest people, like a kind of capitalist soft porn?

What she writes, and this type of writing in general, seems to be in the business of speechifying around a number of already established safe, liberal talking points. It's designed to be inspirational and to tell people what they want to hear but is ultimately comforting rather than thought provoking or challenging. And nobody standing in front of a giant Forbes banner can claim to be challenging any kind of status quo. Yes, it uses "poetic techniques": alliteration, metaphor, chiasmus etc but so do political speeches. It fails as poetry for me in the sense I get that it already knows and is giving its audience exactly what they want to hear.

That doesn't mean it fails as an effective thing. On this occasion it was just right. What the audience wanted to hear, after four years of Trump, was an inspirational, inclusive message of "we can be better than this". Which is true, of course, but also a very low bar. Genuine poetry and party politics don't really mix, but this kind of poetry and party politics mix perfectly.
Yeah, and now that she has taken up so much space, there is no room for all our genuine poetry we have that challenges the status quo. I dunno, Mark. Something about this kind of thread just pisses me off. I get what your saying but we have had so much shit here from morons and thugs plus the half million dead bit. I just think there are times and poets and dynamics when threads like this make sense. This ain't one. My two cents. Nothing personal here.
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  #34  
Unread 01-24-2021, 07:57 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Yeah, and now that she has taken up so much space, there is no room for all our genuine poetry we have that challenges the status quo.
Erm...since I didn't say or remotely suggest this, I don't understand what the sarcasm is directed at. There is infinite room and space for all kinds of poetry and all kinds of audiences, I was just giving my take on the sort that Amanda Gorman mostly seems to write. Because that's the topic of this thread. I think it's a kind of inspirational, feelgood poetry and so it was perfect for the occasion. (She may well have more range than this, as I pointed out in my last post). It doesn't do much for me, but I completely understand your, and America's*, need to simply 'feel good' right now, at least for a bit. You've had a lucky escape and are probably still delirious, like when you almost fall off a ladder and then don't.

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Something about this kind of thread just pisses me off. I get what your saying but we have had so much shit here from morons and thugs plus the half million dead bit. I just think there are times and poets and dynamics when threads like this make sense. This ain't one.
Bit confused. Are you saying it's in bad taste to say anything less than entirely complementary about Amanda Gorman's poetry right now? I assume you also think any criticism of the work of Garth Brooks and Lady Gaga is to be similarly temporarily frowned upon.

Sorry if my contribution pissed you off, Andrew, but there's no personal offence taken at my end. I've come to accept the fact that I'm 'tone deaf' (I think that's the phrase) and try to embrace it.

*Apart from the 74 million people who voted for Trump.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 01-24-2021 at 02:01 PM.
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  #35  
Unread 01-24-2021, 01:15 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Originally Posted by Mark McDonnell View Post
It doesn't do much for me, but I completely understand your, and America's*, need to simply 'feel good' right now, at least for a bit. You've had a lucky escape and are probably still delirious, like when you almost fall off a ladder and then don't.
That is exactly how I feel. Here, by the way, is Robin Helweg-Larsen’s take on Amanda Gorman’s poem.

Form in Formless Times
Political poem: Amanda Gorman’s ‘The Hill We Climb’, excerpts

https://formalverse.com/2021/01/23/p...limb-excerpts/

Last edited by Martin Elster; 01-26-2021 at 03:54 PM.
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  #36  
Unread 01-24-2021, 07:20 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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Here's a sestina Amanda Gorman wrote.


[Sorry, I now see that Mark already posted this]

Last edited by Roger Slater; 01-25-2021 at 07:32 AM.
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  #37  
Unread 01-24-2021, 09:37 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Thanks, Roger. I read that poem earlier today after seeing Mark's post #32. She has a remarkable inventiveness with language and imagery.
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  #38  
Unread 01-25-2021, 03:07 AM
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Kevin Rainbow Kevin Rainbow is offline
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Definitely not a cheap headband she was wearing -

https://www.farfetch.com/ca/shopping...CX9sQAvD _BwE
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  #39  
Unread 01-25-2021, 05:46 AM
E. Shaun Russell E. Shaun Russell is offline
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Definitely not a cheap headband she was wearing -

https://www.farfetch.com/ca/shopping...CX9sQAvD _BwE

Would it have been more "authentic" for you if she was wearing rags? Or an ill-fitting hand-me-down dress? Or perhaps chains?

Your implication that Gorman's ethos is undercut by her wearing of an expensive headband to an inauguration viewed by hundreds of millions of people is ridiculous, and is just the kind of not-so-subtle false equivalence that somehow manages to willfully blind a sizeable subsection of the right to the scale of things that actually matter.

If peddling outright lies doesn't work, peddling misleading half-truths will work in a pinch. Shameful.
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  #40  
Unread 01-25-2021, 06:29 AM
Chris O'Carroll Chris O'Carroll is offline
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Definitely not a cheap headband she was wearing -

https://www.farfetch.com/ca/shopping...CX9sQAvD _BwE
Well, you know how black women are with their hats and whatnot. Donít worry, nobodyís going to think youíre a racist troll for joining a discussion of her poetry to offer an ad hom attack on her wardrobe.
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