What makes it good?

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Give an example of one of your favourite poems. What, for you, makes the poem good?

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2000


...if it takes me somewhere and makes me think, though some pieces work too hard to force the think...the "feel good" aspect is a bonus, not a requirement

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2000

I guess since I asked, I should answer. Different poems are good for different reasons. I love A.A.Milne because of the rhythm and rhyme.
The king
Asked the queen
And the queen
Asked the dairy maid,
"Could we have some butter
For the royal slice of bread?"
The dairy maid she curtsied
And said to her majesty
I'll go and tell the cow now
Before she goes to bed.
Playing with the beat and the words. I love it because I can't do it at all.
The other poetry I find good is poetry that touches me. When I can can nod and know just what that feeling is, what the dilemma is, what that sounds like or looks like, I am moved. When a poem awakens recognition in me, then it feels good.
And I love anything that can make me laugh, including a poem.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2000

ooh, I love that you posted a Q, gwennie... this is really how I'd like this thing to evolve. Everyone getting into the mix with Qs and As flyin' every which way ;-)

A favourite poem. That's hard. How 'bout:

Candy is dandy
but liquor is quicker.

-- Ogden Nash

*g* nah...

Here's a poem I just read a few weeks ago from a book I'm writing a review on. I just love this woman's writing -- Elizabeth Harper -- a treasured new find. I couldn't put it down until I'd read every single poem.


Spring is, as always
overdue. Frost-stiff
bundled in exasperation,
I start my morning walk
through streets
colder than cathedrals.

From their stalls
small choir birds
-- all rustle and cadenza and reproof --
sing my bark loose. I
sweep the crown jewels
of the land into my eye:
frost filigree
tree lace
the early morning lapis sky.

I hoard
for that torn time
before I die
when I will surely
lie fighting the bars and
sour blankets of my bed
to go down
to the icy streets on
legs thin as

diagrams of legs,
skin satined over
brittle cloisters on whose
white bone flag stones
wandering dreams recite
while I remember
and the vaulting power
of it.

Why is it good? Because I can see it as I read. And because the way she's making me see it is at once intimately familiar and totally brand new. And because the words she uses are so carefully chosen instead of spewed. And because with each few lines, and with each re-read, I utter sighs. It has such simple, focused poignancy. It overflows with feeling, but remains unsentimental. I think it's great.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2000

if'n i don't post a serious answer at some point on this thing, thippity might get mad at me.....and we wouldn't want that....what makes a pome good?.....first, it mustn't commit any crimes and it must obey its mother.....third, it must create a picture in my brain which is an easy thing to do because i have crayons AND an etch-a-sketch in there......eighteenth, it helps if it is a bit disturbing or on the dark side cause outcasts like that kinda thing...here is an example that i found on the web...rumour has it that the girl whose site it was on died, but who can be sure on the internet....i'm not sure if she actually wrote it, but i am attaching her name in any case....

come to my house tonight
we can be together in the nuclear sky
and we will dance in the poison rain
and we can stay a while in heaven today
let's stay together
let's stay, these days are ours
let's die together?
two hearts under the skyscrapers

Nina Anderson

hope i remembered how to format in this forum.....

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

outcast --

that poem you posted above is a part of a song lyric. it's from "Stay Together" by a British band called Suede.

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2000

i know of suede....like 'em but never hear them enough here.....and that portion works remarkably well as poetry in my mind....howcum ya never come play with us anymore, elvi?......we miss you....i miss you.....run away with me and bear my children......any other girls out there that wanna bear my children, just contact me.....i can convert to mormonism......

-- Anonymous, April 26, 2000

*choking back tears* ...outcast...i miss you too...and now i'm really reminded of the very last scene in Bowie's great film epic "Labyrinth", where Sarah, the protagonist, returns from the goblin kingdom to the safe-but-dull confines of her bedroom, and misses her colourful friends immensely...and she glances into her mirror, and one by one they appear, saying goodbye to her...and Hoggle says, "should you need us"...and she says, "but i DO need you, all of you," at which point they all cry, "WELL WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY SO?" and her bedroom is suddenly filled with bouncing, cavorting, partying creatures, and she's alive once again...

-- Anonymous, April 26, 2000

sorry, that was rather silly. um...i can't come and play anymore because i turned eighteen last Tuesday and so i'm now all grown-up and shit ... *scratches head* ... no, no, that isn't it either ... i'm darned if i know ... tell you what, i'll make a showing some way or another on Sunday, howzat? ... *kisses to all*

-- Anonymous, April 26, 2000

It's good to me, if it reads out loud.

Period. That's the main thing to me. I like to be able to hear it. (hmmm, do you think maybe I'm a musician?)
Anyway, I like the feel of language on my tounge and I think that if you can't hear it while reading it, you get lost. I like the rise and fall of speech and being able to hear the words. The images really are secondary to me, although intrinsic and needed, secondary.
And as for finding an example, I'll do it... soon... someday.

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2000

i was once a bouncing, cavorting, partying creature........

-- Anonymous, May 15, 2000

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