The Splendid Vexing Voice of the Poet

CLXXIII.

Source


This magnetic voice

Which sings in the sunshine,

Cries in the rain,

Brings on the night

To feel all its pain,

Puzzles, perplexes

As it vexes in vain.


It reveals to us nothing,

Yet stirs us too much.

We're drawn to rehearse

Each sigh and each crutch,

Immersing our very own souls

In scintillating, shimmering verse.


______© Nellieanna H. Hay


"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality"

__T.S. Eliot


Eliot’s observation and belief was that what makes a poem poetry is not its relationship with its author, but its effect on its reader. Poetry acts on readers in certain ways not to be expected from ordinary prose.


Eliot truly felt that whether or not a poem expresses sincere feelings and thoughts of its author is irrelevant. He believed its merit lies in its ability to manipulate the feelings or thinking of the reader, much as demographers today manipulate presentations of commercial products to control a desired response in the buying public. According to Eliot, the test of a poem is not its sincerity but the excellence with which it ‘works’ or not.

Some have agreed with this viewpoint, corresponding it to clockmaking, in which it is of no concern to the clock's user what the frame of mind of the worker who made a clock; only whether or not it tells correct time. Some find Eliot’s position on poetry simply ‘common sense’. So poetry is just common sense? One wonders how that differs from ordinary prose!

Roland Barthes incorporated this pragmatic viewpoint as the basis for his “death of the author’ theory, in which he submits that all personality, identity and being of an author should be excised from his creative work. One wonders if the author's very name ought to be omitted. I notice how well that mimics the excising techniques in progress in many quarters regarding universal Creation.

The argument for disallowing the author's presence 'in' his work is that having it would necessarily narrow it, presenting only his idea, which is imposed on the reader. I must laugh. Whose-else ideas shall an author present and when EVER did anyone actually succeed in imposing an idea on anyone else? And, finally, what about these unilateral ideas themselves?

"Poems are full of relationships and juxtapositions that tease the imagination and speak to the heart of human experience. There is no single and unambiguous reading of a poem. It depends upon the reader’s experience as well as the experience of the poet, so reading poetry is a form of engaging in dialogue. It is a conversation, not with the poet, but with her or his work in the same way that listening to music and looking at a painting involve the experience as well as the creative and critical input of the listener and the viewer. That’s part of the pleasure of reading poems. As a reader you are active, not passive."

~ Herbert Kohl, from A Grain of Poetry

Virgil reading  poetry to Augustus and Octavia
Virgil reading poetry to Augustus and Octavia | Source

“Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.”

__T.S. Eliot

While I cannot agree with Eliot that a poet writing without inspired personal experience of the words will be able to produce fully effective poetry, much less that is the only way to do so, yet I agree that it is its effect personally on the hearer or reader which makes it 'jell' and 'work' when shared or published. At that point, the poet cannot hope or expect that the perceived effects will coincide precisely - if at all - with thoughts and feelings which inspired it. Initially, poetry fills the need to express for the poet. Ultimately, it becomes the discovery of emotional and mental 'gold' for the reader, as it is being claimed and appropriated by and into himself.

To write their writings, poets must possess the keenest of self-awareness in order to experience ideas and feelings and to fully instill them into the lines. But then, in order to share them, either formally or informally, a poet must relinquish even the slightest shred of that self-awareness and any ego that might accompany it, because the words will not be ingested, felt, or interpreted by a hearer or reader as the poet felt, meant or may have intended them. There is no way to inject them 'whole' or unaltered, even into a totally willing ear, which would be a rarity of a high degree.

The end result of the exchange from poet's soul to publishing to being seen or heard by an audience is that, once so shared, the words and all they meant to the poet are given over to whomever random others' awareness, comprehension, and personal identification with them happens along. The poet's words become vulnerable to those others' acceptance or criticism; but, possibly more devastatingly, to their full possession, by which they will be lifted and fit into or around their own experiences, memories, feelings, thoughts and abilities to understand. No longer do the poet's words belong to the poet, nor to his or her own momentous feelings, ideas and intentions which inspired those words, except whenever enjoyed alone, in private subjectivity. There is a kind of subjective plagiarism in the recipients which occurs whenever any words are exchanged from their originator onto and into their audience; and, if the words are well received and given honor, by general and literary experts and interpreters.

Eliot and Barthes needn't have been concerned. Human nature is the natural leveler. Even so, it likes to know from whom it's incorporating its input. Leave the author 'in there'. At best, it's a temporary position which will be chewed up and digested along with the words and their intimate, personal inspiration!

To 'own' means to possess. When released to the universe, it is no longer 'owned'.

It merely disperses random positive or negative effects on others, or else withers.


Poets are folks who find

Short-term commitments

Inscribed in cryptic comments

Describing Long-Term Real,

Rejecting superficiality

With all its mean confusion.


They'll borrow, beg or steal,

To capture precise moments

In words without conclusion

Wiggling across the page

Like restless caterpillars

In a glorious profusion.


Sometimes they find, embrace

That elusive Eternal Now

Which lingers everywhere,

Defying every Age, all Times,

Implying every silent Truth,

Yet captured by their rhymes.


______© Nellieanna H. Hay


Virgil reading.
Virgil reading. | Source


American politician Mario Cuomo said that “you campaign in poetry, but you must govern in prose”.



Poetry

Invisibly

Writes upon

The page of life.


______© Nellieanna H. Hay

Theme from 'Out of Africa'

“All sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them.” ~ Isak Dinesen

Isak Dinesen is the pen name used by Danish author, Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke, upon whose story the movie “Out of Africa”, set in Kenya, is based.

L: Karen Blixen aka: Isak Dinesen, photo circa 1935 by Tage Christensen;  R: Meryl Streep portraying Blixen in "Out Of Africa"
L: Karen Blixen aka: Isak Dinesen, photo circa 1935 by Tage Christensen; R: Meryl Streep portraying Blixen in "Out Of Africa" | Source

The story of the book and movie, 'Out Of Africa'

"Out of Africa" was written by Isak Dinesen in 1935, a personal memoir. In it, she follows her life in the early 20th century from her native Denmark into the wilds of Kenya, onto a farm she acquired to escape scandal back in Denmark, and which she developed into a working coffee plantation. She had acquired the Baroness title through a marriage of convenience, also to escape that scandal. The Baron conspired with her on this plan. Thus began the saga.

Made into the movie about her amazing experiences and dauntless courage, in which Meryl Streep portrays the author, it is a sweeping story which almost beguiles one into 'being there' with her.


By lifting the weight

Off the lines,

Poet rescues spirits

From their weights

Beyond their bearing,

Frees their spirits

To persist by sharing,

Brings to others

Paths to freedom

From their weights.


______© Nellieanna H. Hay


The Soul of Poets


Whispering

The truth

Which wants

To shout it out for joy

Unfurled


Requires

Great strength

To know to keep

Till ready

To poem it

Into verse

With time and care,

As sand is pearled.


I, too,

Have wanted,

Waited for

The proper time

To share,

To tell it

To the world.


______© Nellieanna H. Hay

Lori Lieberman wrote a poem on which these lyrics were based.

The story of the song "Killing Me Softly With His Song"

The actual story behind the lyrics to the song, "Killing Me Softly With His Song", made famous by Roberta Flack, may be unknown to you. In 1974, Lori Lieberman was a singer looking for one more song for an album when she dropped into a Beverly Hills club, The Troubadour, to hear a young singer, Don McLean, who was singing a song titled, "Empty Chair'. She was anguishing over a love breakup. The lyrics to his song felt to her to perfectly fit her feelings, almost as though he literally saw into her heart and mind, as he seemed to be singing specifically about them, though he was unaware of her presence, much less of her anguish. It was then that she jotted on napkin the beginnings of the poem which would become the lyrics to this now-famous song, when another lyricist finished it, and she first recorded it, as you've heard here.

The inspiration for the song itself is an example of how Don McLean's spoken or sung words found identification and lodging within a listener, Lori Lieberman, because of a similarity to what is going on already in there. Poets and lyricists can never know how their words will reach out and travel.

Empty Chair by Don McLean

Who knows?


Within the poet's eyes

The Earth comes more alive

Or sinks toward the dead.

Becomes the brighter or the dimmer,

Merely through the words, when read.


With the smallest lens adjustment,

A cast of word or two,

We can set the stage

For the whole Uni-verse

Upon our poet's page.


We give them to the readers

To use for their own means.

To take on brilliance unbidden

Or misery's nightmare dreams

Extracted from our schemes.


Should we possess such powers?

How could we? Is it fair?

Is self-protection justified?

Is freedom so forbidden?

Are we responsible for others' using ours?


We have to live, ourselves,

Out here along the fringes

Of eternity's puzzling fuss,

Among its fiery energies

Set to frighten us.


Have we no right to quest,

To set our grappling eyes

Upon what 'ere we see

To make of it a heaven or a hell

To suit out needs, like all the rest?


Have we no right to use the word

Transmitting imagery

'Tween souls among ourselves,

With splendored lines and notes

To lighten up the savagery?


Is not this human Life

A force among the Forces

To be more amply reckoned,

Its voice becoming clearly heard

Describing joy and strife?


~ Yes, perhaps! ~


______© Nellieanna H. Hay


A poem's a conscious dream

Perhaps,

A tiny drama

Having one actor,

One director,

Author and prop person:

A one-woman show.

And so

It should describe her

Pretty well.


______© Nellieanna H. Hay

Penned Mar. 9, 1972

I am in it still.

Photo of an earlier book of my handwritten poems with a 'selfie' on the cover.
Photo of an earlier book of my handwritten poems with a 'selfie' on the cover. | Source


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This material is protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from Nellieanna H. Hay.

© 2014 Nellieanna Hay

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Comments 62 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I will leave the debate to others. I just know I love poetry and wish I could write it...but I always have people like you to fill my poetry pantry. Beautiful work as always.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Poets are an odd lot, I must say--and I love when poets write about their process--lovely work!!


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

This is very special, I was touch by the story behind the song "killing me softly" Don McLean just took my breath away. Great information, this is a hub I would return to read again. Thank you for sharing and my best to you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Nellieanna, I love this! It is my favourite of all your hubs. Maybe I am biased being primarily a poet but I don't care. I much prefer to read good poetry than any article or story ever written and that will never change. I love both 'Killing Me Softly' and 'Empty Chair' and how the two connected. Don McLean being one of my inspirations. I love the poetry you have written here as well, beautiful. You just get better and better. Voted up awesome.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Audrey, thank you. I agree that poets are an odd lot, but then, they/we’re human beings, aren’t they/we? That already casts them/us in that role! hehe. I’m glad you enjoy the theme of this hub.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Jo, it is quite an honor when someone would return and read one of my hubs again! I appreciate that!

It was a pleasant discovery to learn about the real origin of one of my favorite songs. All the while I've liked "Killing Me Softly With His Song", I'd heard nothing of all of this history of it. I love Don McLean’s song, “Vincent”, with its imagery of Van Gogh’s painting ’Starry Starry Night”, one of my favorite of his paintings. Many of my international favorite singers have sung the song. I used to play it on the piano and loved its wistfulness. Now I discover that so many of his songs and associations with other singers have crossed my path without my awareness of him for his own talents. This is an eye-opener. Apparently he's still active professionally, though he’s in his late 60s.

I’ve since read that there was controversy about Lori Lieberman’s origination of the song, “Killing Me Softly With His Song”, but she adamantly upholds that she wrote the first lines of it on the napkin and Don McLean concurred, so I’m sticking with it!

My best to you, as well!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh, my, - Bill. I wrote my reply to you immediately when I read your comment, my very first here before anyone else had visited. Thought I'd posted it, but it's not here!

Anyway, I thank you for your praise of my poetry. I hadn't considered that the hub might be controversial, but I have to admit that T.S. Eliot's cold-hearted attitude toward poetry, especially coming from a poet, set me off a bit. He wrote very little poetry, though it was acclaimed.

I'd planned this hub before I watched a movie about his life and ran across the quotes, which aroused some of my own opinions. In the movie, titled 'Tom and Viv', he is portrayed by Willem Dafoe as a stony-faced, cold opportunist. His high-strung, aristocratic wife helped him with his poetry, though he neglected her. Eventually he conspired with her brother to have her committed, though she was not insane. All in all, I found him wanting! haha.

You're such a great writer, it's hard to believe you don't write poetry too. I've thought that anyone can write poetry and tried to encourage it, but I've come to question that premise. Perhaps not. As you say, you don't need to! Hugs.


DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

DrBill-WmL-Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

I'll have to be honest, and say I do not, never have, understood poetry. I looks lovely, and folks I respect say it is, so: Good for you! Thanks for sharing! ;-) I always enjoy the images! ;-)


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 2 years ago

As a fairly new reader of poetry (3 years), i can tell you that it used to stress me out. That may sound strange, but - i was afraid each poem was an onion i could not peel..

The best advice i ever got was fairly recent. It was to just sit back - and open myself to the words. Period.

All the other hullaballoo i leave to the experts.

Quite the incredible hub, Nellianna, not surprisinglyxx


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

And I have to be honest, too, Dr. Bill: - I don’t adore all poetry, or even a lot of it. I have some favorites and am open to any, but am repelled by triteness or ostentation in poetry and a lot of it has one or both. I’m not very attracted to poetry which seems to be the result of a lot of effort. It’s like any creative endeavor in that it misses the point if it shows its effort.

My poetry was never written to be shared; - and for most of this long life till I came to HP, it wasn’t. All along, it was a simple way to express what I needed to express without arousing negativity. I just wrote and read it for myself, as a sort of diary of my innermost self. So it wasn’t ‘constructed’ or contrived in any way. It just poured forth spontaneously. If I didn’t have a poem wanting to be written, I didn’t write one.

What I’ve objected to in this hub referring to T. S. Eliot’s attitude about poetry is that it is so totally opposite of mine: - his is about writing poetry to deliberately manipulate others’ responses with little or no real feeling in it of his own. Oh well. It’s ‘no skin off my nose’, as they say. haha.

Thank you for stopping by and for your candor.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

Hmm...where to start, and can I type it all with this phone without making some embarrassing typo or autocorrect error? We shall see....hehehe!

Poetry

Invisibly

Writes upon

The pages of life

Love that, especially in context with the accompanying prose!

Second, I was thinking about the same diagreement with Elliot that you voiced foloowing that quote. While that point of view makes sense in theory perhaps, it is flawed. People write poetry in the form of lyrics that aren't necessarily personal, yet are universal enough to connect with the emotions of listeners if only because the words are catchy or the song is lighthearted, etc. However, even in songwriting, there is.often an element of personal experience that is probably yhe very rrason others relate. Much poetry is thst way, I think. Personal experience even if different from the reader's is what enables the author to write words that others can find value in.

And...speaking of songs....you know I enjoyed the story behind that great one! I was unaware of the story behind it both for its own sake and for the ilustration of your point.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Leslie, my dear! Nice to see you! Thank you for your presence and your lovely compliment!

From what I’ve written in this hub and in my replies to comments, you may be able to detect that some poetry can stress me for various reasons, though perhaps not feeling capable of peeling their onionskins isn’t really one. . . More like not really regarding it worth the peeling in some cases.

I wouldn’t struggle to understand others’ poems any more than I’d struggle to write mine! Neither is compulsory, for one thing. As for understanding theirs, it should either be simply clear or so inviting and intriguing as to be fun, not an effort to contemplate it. If not fun, why do it? (One of my personal adages, by the way.)

I’m not an expert, nor do I wish to be. I was asked what I’d look for when I was invited to judge a poetry contest here at HP awhile back and the only real criteria I have is that it flow, have a kind of ‘music’, be real and not too contrived, - and not be just trite stuff trying to look like and pass for poetry. Not sure anyone really comprehended that. - haha.

Hugs and love - hope all is well with you!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

P.S. I left you a special msg on FB regardi g this hub and our earlier conversation. ;-) haha!


Vincent Moore 2 years ago

Your title alone "The Splendid Vexing Voice of the Poet" stimulates ones senses, sings of the Muse within all poets, for without inspiration how can creativeness spring forth? A duplication of experiences uttered from a poet's own soul via the written word or sung from a darkened place within the vast abyss, or simply the gaiety of life, light, rainbows, flowers and rivers flowing and teaming with life. Or the color or darkness that impacts the reader and stimulates all their senses to reap the rewards often received by the agony of a poet or the adornment by one by colorful bouquets of all life and its beautiful surroundings. Since attempting to share what I felt was poetry from my soul, I learned a great deal about myself. Through the tortured soul, the lost, the weary, the unloved, the abused and misunderstood, words emerged from me to share with those who would read my work. Some shared with me the impact I made between each line shared, many wept, very few laughed. Yet to know, to be told that my words moved them. I knew something in my poetry was genuine enough to write more of it. I can't say that I am a real poet, yet I know that when I take up the pen, something in my heart, mind and soul stirs everything within me to pour myself onto the page before me, I feel much of what I pen and often die inside from what's been held there for so long and now released upon the world to take whatever meaning from it. You my dear stir all senses, I for one have followed you ever since I joined HP a few years back, I've come and left for various reasons, yet am drawn back to read, savor and digest great writers like yourself. Yes indeed, there are poets and then there are POETS, you my dear rank up there among the POETS in this our great modern times. Peace and blessings I always send to you my dear sweet POET. Hugs xo.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

This was simply put, great! Your poetry and the explanations you provided open the heart even more to the beauty and emotions found in poetry.

I can't say for sure why people write poetry but when reading it there is a raw emotion jumping off the page!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and beautiful.


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 2 years ago

Now I really need to see "Out of Africa"!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Nellieanna, I find this hub very interesting and reflective. What really resonated with me is that the poets words are no longer their own once shared with the world, until read alone. Even so, I believe, as do you, that the poet should always be in it.

The story you relayed regarding the background to Killing Me Softly With His Song is one I'd not heard. Playing the song that inspired the words and hearing them from the original author was quite enjoyable.

I've always loved your poetry and will continue to do so as long as you keep writing.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Nellieanna you most certainly took all your readers on a journey with this one. You traveled far and wide - along garden paths and serene moss covered banks to express your point. As always your work is stellar.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Such a very interesting hub. You've done quite a bit of research for this, but it's hardly noticeable as it's so easy to read. Well done!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 years ago from Minnesota

I have to agree with Vincent. I truly feel that you are one of top poets of modern day. Your soul really comes out in your poetry. You really are a poetic genius.

I was brought to tears when I listened to Don McLean's song, 'Empty Chair.' Don is such a talented artist and poet. His songs have the ability to reach into your soul and take effect.

Thank you for the incredible journey of your poetry, the stories and the photo's. Love Linda


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Shan - Not to worry about autocorrect errors or typos.We’ve all had them. We all use electronic and digital devices, don’t we? ;-)

If the poet or lyricist expresses real feelings, their readers or hearers will respond with real feelings, but not in an identical framework or for any point the writer had or intended to convey. This stuff is Communication with a capital C, and communication is both sent and received subjectively when it transmits. Both sides of it bring their own personal input to it.

If there are universal emotions recognizing, then those, too, depend on the persons' own interpretations and basically subjective concepts of what they are and mean. With an authentic expression of them from the source, the full receipt of the them touches the other’s honest sense of them. That does not mean the two are identical.

Of course, modern advertising proves that people can be manipulated to respond as desired by playing on their emotions, by clever imagery, even by physical arrangements of the proposed input to make them buy into it, and it is quite devoid of the advertisers’ own vulnerability to the product! It’s purely from a study of ‘universal’ responses or responses typical of the special target groups.

My feeling is that such techniques are misplaced in personal poetry. Perhaps in songwriting, it’s more appropriate. The audience is probably unknown to the singer/songwriter and never the two shall meet. Also people may casually hear a song and either relate to it or not and move on. So a certain amount of expected ‘formula’ is acceptable in the songs themselves. One expects pickup trucks, mama and beer in a genre of country music, for example & those themes have a pleasant effect on listeners who key into them. In other genres, the formula includes tear-jerking key words and images, and they ‘work’ whether or not singer/songwriter had the slightest relationship to the emotions. It is possible to write that way.

But there is another step to receiving poetry or any written material in which a kind of dialog happens. The recipient makes a kind of commitment by taking trouble of deliberately reading a poem. Perhaps, then, he has a valid right to hope the words express real feelings & ideas experienced by the author, as well as the right to respond as fits his own experiences and mood at the time. It’s not to say his emotions can’t be effectively manipulated without that dialog with the poet. But that seems to me more like just another form of what the advertisers and PR people do so expertly. Perhaps it’s why most good poetry isn’t very commercially viable.

I’ve read enough of Eliot’s l-o-n-g “The Waste Land” poem to mention that the title fits it. But I’ve probably already given his poetic perspective more space and attention than it deserves, so I’ll leave it at that. . . . . . . . . . . . .

;-) - hugs


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Vincent, who is our beloved poet whose poetry rings and quivers with truly real feelings and thoughts drawn from real experiences and mature self-knowledge! You fully exemplify and personally understand what I wanted to highlight about the voice of the poet, which is often splendid and sometimes vexing but shouldn't be cold and calculating!

Your comments here are like reading pure poetry, my dear. Thank you for recognizing what I was trying to say and for demonstrating it so well. This quote from your comment says it all so well: “. . . I know that when I take up the pen, something in my heart, mind and soul stirs everything within me to pour myself onto the page before me, . . . ” That is IT! How else could good poetry be written?

A poet’s life experiences and feelings derived from them need not fit a mold, either full of sunshine & joy or full of clouds & gloom. They may include some of both or mostly one or the other, depending on the poet’s inner voice and inspiration. The main thing I see is that they must be truly authentic, deeply felt & experienced and honestly sharing through the words should be inspired, rather than from other motivations.

Poetry writing provides the advantage of needing not to delve into all the gory details, and even, if it’s felt necessary, to couch them in subtlety, while still having power to convey those realities and their emotional and wisdom results to readers with an ability to receive them and even to benefit from it

Dear Vincent, who is our beloved poet whose poetry rings and quivers with truly real feelings and thoughts drawn from real experiences and mature self-knowledge! You fully exemplify and personally understand what I wanted to highlight about the voice of the poet, which is often splendid and sometimes vexing but shouldn't be cold and calculating!

Your comments here are like reading pure poetry, my dear. Thank you for recognizing what I was trying to say and for demonstrating it so well. This quote from your comment says it all so well: “. . . I know that when I take up the pen, something in my heart, mind and soul stirs everything within me to pour myself onto the page before me, . . . ” That is IT! How else could good poetry be written?

A poet’s life experiences and feelings derived from them need not fit a mold, either full of sunshine & joy or full of clouds & gloom. They may include some of both or mostly one or the other, depending on the poet’s inner voice and inspiration. The main thing I see is that they must be truly authentic, deeply felt & experienced and honestly sharing through the words should be inspired, rather than from other motivations.

Poetry writing provides the advantage of needing not to delve into all the gory details, and even, if it’s felt necessary, to couch them in subtlety, while still having power to convey those realities and their emotional and wisdom results to readers with an ability to receive them and even to benefit from it

There is a kind of art in using words to express feelings, of course. It just shouldn't be ART-ificial but, rather, should be used for the artistic value of increasing the beauty and expressing the message, not to manipulate the responses of others, though it may promote that two-way dialog with the reader.

Oh, for sure, there are ‘factual’ poems, such as epic overviews of historic events. They share a poet’s depth of intellectual knowledge and understanding of those events, possibly with some emotional responses to it. The main thing should be that they will contain real involvement of himself by the poet in the lines written.

What a pleasure to have known you these 3 or so years, and I still think of you as Ken, though Vincent fits you well, too and I’ve become quite comfortable with it.

I’ve been cleaning up some of my older hubs and in the process have read some old comments threads on the hubs and what a delight to be so happily reminded of our long mutual respect and admiration society! I am so glad you see fit to come to HP and mingle, though your other interests are wide and amazing!.

Oh, for sure, there are ‘factual’ poems, such as epic overviews of historic events. They share a poet’s depth of intellectual knowledge and understanding of those events, possibly with some emotional responses to it. The main thing should be that they will contain real involvement of himself by the poet in the lines written.

What a pleasure to have known you these 3 or so years, and I still think of you as Ken, though Vincent fits you well, too and I’ve become quite comfortable with it.

I’ve been cleaning up some of my older hubs and in the process have read some old comments threads on the hubs and what a delight to be so happily reminded of our long mutual respect and admiration society! I am so glad you see fit to come to HP and mingle, though your other interests are wide and amazing!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Mary! Your words say it so well: “. . .I can't say for sure why people write poetry but when reading it there is a raw emotion jumping off the page! . .” Thank you for validating what I was trying to convey! That is it.

Haven’t we shared some great and unique experiences here on Hubpages! I still recall working together on that mammoth undertaking called “The Journey” in which we two and 14 other writers ‘of a certain age’ conferred to produce a series of stupendous individual experiences of growing more - er - mature. I relished every phase of that project and its well-received results. I met you and others during it and we formed sort of special bond, though we’ve all gone our separate ways and done our separate things since then. I still have the group in one file in my email contact list!

We launched the series a year and a half ago. As the most - er - mature member of the group, I was asked to write the first Chapter, with each member of our little group writing a Chapter and each Chapter containing input contributed by all the other members in the form of answers to questions asked in advance.

Each of us felt a special kinship and it seemed to radiate from the chapters outward to the readers who brought such life to it by their comments! I doubt that any of us shall ever forget that experience! One of my ‘one-liners’ says “There is still a warm spot where we touched” and I feel that warmth whenever I see or hear from any of my cohorts on that “The Journey” project!

Thank you for your visit, your comments and your votes, dear Mary! And thank you for reminding me by your presence of that earlier project together!


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes, dear Aga - you really must see that movie! It’s one of the most memorable ones I’ve ever seen. I liked it even better just seeing it again recently. You’ll love it. Thank you for the visit and great input.


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Right, Shauna, - yes the poet is always in the poem, even when it no longer belongs exclusively to him/her, once it is given over to readers. What is then a new satisfaction for the poet, is if and when the readers get into it too, however they can.

That 2-way dialog that begins then is sort of like a dance or love affair in a way. One no longer completely possesses oneself in the arms of a dance partner or in the throes of a love affair, but it works two ways and is shared in each of those activities with the personalities brought together, giving it another complete dimension from when it was solitary.

There was no intent to disparage sharing one’s deepest feelings in poetry, but simply pointing out that it will be received by the reader on his/her terms, as it is between partners in the dance or in a love affair, whenever there is no longer just the one - as with the poet - but the other(s) in the dialog with the reader.

My emphasis on the thought that poetry is somewhat relinquished or surrendered to the ‘public’ (which is what it means to publish) was that is an acceptable step (possibly the only step if the poetry is “true”) more than what Eliot says poetry should do, - manipulate the public with words contrived for that end, without being involved or participating in the dialog, the dance, the love affair. To me, his view of it seems sterile and cold. Reading of his own life (and seeing the movie about it) seems to illusrate that his own life was rather sterile and cold. So perhaps he was simply sharing that reality with his readers. Who am I to judge? Perhaps had he shared the reasons for it, his life might have been more satisfying. But perhaps he liked it just as it was. Perhaps how it is with people i how they prefer it, even if it seems negative to others.

Thank you for mentioning how the songs impacted you, too. I was surprised by that behind-the-scenes story of “Killing Me Softly” and glad it served so well to illustrate my premise! :-)

I appreciate you, too, dear friend. Hugs.


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Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

I just had to visit this hub a second time Nellieana and read again your wonderful poetry of what it is to be a poet, but also the insightful comments that your hubs inspire. Poetry is the vessel that allows me to freely display many of my thoughts and feelings that would otherwise be bottled up and not expressed. It has probably become my greatest passion. I write firstly to please myself. If I don't like what I have written it will never see the light of day ( I have notebooks filled with unfinished or discarded poetry and stories). It is only recently that I have begun to share my poetry with others, other than my wife, and even she had only seen a fraction. As I said before, Don McLean was one of my earliest inspirations and remains so to this day. His songs are just poetry put to music in fact and is probably why my preference is to write rhyming poetry.

Your poetry was among the first I read here at hub pages and you have been a constant inspiration and encouragement. Thank you, and every one else I have met here.


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Mike - thank you! I love your responses to my little offerings. You make them seem more glorious than I’d ever have expected, and your good opinion is one I cherish!


SilverGenes 2 years ago

Nellieanna, there is so much to take in, and yet you left stepping stones of poetry throughout to guide the way. I will be back to read it many times. The teaching in this hub is brilliant and I don't mean to embarrass you in any way but after reading this, I feel much as I did after listening to Joseph Campbell explaining the path of man's spirituality.

Out of Africa is one of my favourite movies. It does indeed beguile and works magic on the soul with poetry of its own. I was immersed in the story and almost bathed in it!

There is so much in life that affects us in this way. The gift of being able to do so with words, to chose language that invites us live momentarily inside a thought, is truly remarkable. I loved everything about this hub. Thank you!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Well, my dear Nellieanna, you have presented quite a masterpiece here! You have shared so much in your great wisdom as always. I have always thought that all poets write from personal experiences that just pour out of their souls onto the page, but I guess not, as with Eliot.

I will return to read again to absorb all that you have written here. Really loved the line,

"In words without conclusion

Wiggling across the page

Like restless caterpillars

In a glorious profusion."

You are such a glorious writer and I am blessed to read your writing!

Up and more and sharing.

Have a lovely evening dear lady,

Faith Reaper


shanmarie 2 years ago

You amuse me greatly! What a stereotypical view of country songs! You do have the formulaic part down, though. Ask anyone in Nasville.

It is most definitely communication. Both poetry and song, which is a form of poetry, aim to communicate some kind of thought and/or feeling. Even so, to be effective, it comes from the heart of the aurhor.

As for your dislike of Eliot rings loud and clear in the reply to me! ;-) Maybe the little masked men should be on high alert tonight! Haha


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

This is a hub is magnificent, dear Nellieanna…one of your best.

“The argument for disallowing the author's presence 'in' his work is that having it would necessarily narrow it, presenting only his idea, which is imposed on the reader. I must laugh. Whose-else ideas shall an author present and when EVER did anyone actually succeed in imposing an idea on anyone else? And, finally, what about these unilateral ideas themselves?”

I agree. Poetry is nothing if not personal, stemming from an idea; how can we possibly escape this?

"Requires

Great strength

To know to keep

Till ready

To poem it.

Into verse

With time and care,

As sand is pearled."

Beautifully expressed and profoundly true.

Reading each line of this hub was like taking a journey with a friend who understands. :-)

Voted up, beyond, and shared.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Blossom, I love that comment. Research shouldn’t ’show’ in the finished work. So true! Indeed, as it happens, my research here was almost as spontaneous as my poetry. I'd watched a movie about T.S. Eliot, which sort of lodged in a corner of my mind as I was contemplating this hub. Then when I started researching various quotations about my subject and his appeared, that all just came together, like an acorn growing around its smallest cell of a kernel, including the rather dismal image of his portrayal in the movie “Tom and Viv”. To me, his philosophy struck me as misleading about the soul of what poetry is and is not. So I did what I seldom do; I took issue with his philosophy about the subject of the hub. I may regret it eventually, but not yet. In any case, it wasn’t a very academic research, so perhaps that accounts for why it doesn't go down as being research! Thank you!! Your comment fills my heart and your presence always adds luster to my hubs!


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Linda, aw, thank you, dear heart. I don’t know about that praise, though I eat it up. But though I believe in my poetry, else I wouldn’t or couldn’t expose it, I don’t consider myself as being in or on any sort of scale of poetic accomplishment or rating. I like to do my best, but have no thought of being the best or at the top. I very much like for others to excel, and I think everyone can excel as their own best. There is plenty of room and need for everyone who puts soul into to it, to shine!

I value most that you feel that my ‘soul really comes out in my poetry’. That is high praise, indeed and what I want it to do.

Isn’t that song lovely! I’m now a big Don McLean fan! I remember hearing his songs earlier but I hadn’t put name to them. Now that I’ve made that connection, I see the soul he puts in all his songs.

Hugs and many thanks, my friend; - and indeed we do go back a ways here on Hubpages, don’t we?


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, John and welcome back, my friend! I’m pleased that we’ve each experienced that sense of exclusivity and privacy for our poetry but have finally parted with that possession of it, if with a degree of reluctance, but with what has blossomed into a sense of joy in sharing it. It’s nice to have that mutual understanding.

I also have multiple notebooks full of poetry & other writings, not necessarily unfinished or discarded, though most of my attempts at fiction stories remain unfinished. I’ve always been good at painting pictures with words and fleshing out characters in stories, but they’ve often led to no conclusions! haha. One vastly talented Hubber, Shadesbreath, (another John) helped me with that with some great tips.

It is so good to hear more of your own experience with writing poetry. It adds so much to knowing who you are, along with what your poetry and other writings have brought forth.

As you say, poetry means just being able “. . .to freely display many of my thoughts and feelings that would otherwise be bottled up and not expressed . . .”, which is certainly not the least of its values! Why unexpressed feelings become bottled up may attribute to different causes for different people, but it is probably one of the most damaging human conditions and literally can lead to serious illness and disasters in a person’s life. Poetry, indeed, provides one a wonderful, easily available outlet for them to not only be expressed but in ways that are actually healing and beneficial to the poet and even to others on occasion.

One hears of ‘art therapy’ and ‘music therapy’ which are surely greatly valuable; but there is also ‘poetry therapy’, which I believe provides special therapeutic value in its ability to articulate and communicate in actual words the bottleneck of things needing to be acknowledged and resolved. And we all have those in various degrees and kinds at one time or another, though not everyone needs or has access to an actual therapist to help with them; but everyone can easily access a source of that kind of help of one’s own from within, by expressing in words, especially poetic words.

I’m so pleased to have really identified and discovered who Don McLean is. It’s amazing that I’ve enjoyed some of his music for years without doing so! As for rhyming poetry, mine either does or it doesn’t and either way pleases me equally, because I always need to hear ‘music’ or rhythm in mine to be happy with it, whether or not it comes from the use of similar sounds. It must have an internal balance that probably could be set to music. At times what I write seems to favor more one kind or the other. Perhaps that somehow relates to what it is needing to be expressed. I haven’t analyzed that. Form is not my main focus, I admit. What I need in poetry is its spirt, perhaps.

I remember so well discovering a Hubber named Jodah here one day. I was amazed that you’d been around awhile but hadn’t written a lot and up till then, nothing I’d run across. I was so impressed with your ability, though you hadn’t gotten a lot of response, that I had to encourage you to write more and keep on writing. I was probably being greedy! I think I may have suggested that, like in the movie “Field of Dreams” - ‘if you build it they will come’. They certainly have come to read and appreciate your work!!


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

My dear Alexandra! What a treat to see you here! Thank you, and especially for your wonderful comments. I love “stepping stones of poetry throughout to guide the way.” (hehe ) - Since I categorized it as poetry when I applied for the hub title, I had to include some poetry! I didn’t realize they’d serve another valuable purpose!

I can’t recall whether we’ve ever discussed it, but I had the old tape set of Joseph Campbell’s lectures and listened to them over and over. I wonder if I still have them. They were truly enlightening. How good to know you also appreciate him. His vision seemed almost like a tangible thing or a beautiful symphony or ballet. I was smitten. So if my work brings such feelings to you, well, yes, I am a bit embarrassed at the enormity of the comparison, but am more gratified than embarrassed. Thank you.

Yes, yes to how you describe the effects of “Out of Africa” on one’s soul! I think I’ll watch it again! I recorded it from TV onto my U-verse DVR, but I don’t feel I ‘own’ it when it’s on that device. Maybe I’ll get it on a DVD I can possess!

You and I share a deep appreciation for the power and gift of words. In many ways, I begrudge that they also can mislead, but the longer I live, the more I realize that the combination of really well-chosen words that truly fit the thought being expressed, with a truly receptive, capable hearer or reader for them is, as you say, truly remarkable - if not miraculous! Too, too often that doesn’t transpire, especially in the real-life moments which make a difference between joy or sorrow, compatibility or conflict, and peace or war. If it were possible for people to really communicate, so much wrong would be righted!

Thank you for being you and for your gracious, abundant heart.


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Faith, sweet friend. When I see your comments, whether on my own hubs or on others’, my immediate feeling is of more lightness and serenity. Your view truly speaks your faith without ever ‘talking about’ it. I may have mentioned to you that I knew a woman whose actual name was “Faith” & whose spirit was that genuinely good, bright and unassuming at the same time, as yours reminds is.

Perhaps all ‘poets’ aren’t really poets. There are often real and fake kinds of various things, from which we must sort to the real ones.

I sort of like the imagery of the restless caterpillar myself. It so depicts those moments when one is both trying and yet is ‘in the zone’ in one’s writing. It’s such a happy moment when one either realizes that it IS the zone , that it’s getting there or that it doesn't matter whether or not one is or isn't.

Sometimes reaching conclusions is the death knoll of real thought, feeling and life. So maybe it’s not a great objective, anyway! haha.

I am having a lovely evening (well- it’s becoming more like morning) - and the same to you, whenever it is! Hugs.


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Shan, remember, I was born and grew up in Del Rio, Texas. A more country stereotypical place there may not be outside of Nashville. In fact, it may have been one, long before Nashville hosted its first GOO! Ernest Tubbs and The LightCrust DoughBoys pervaded Del Rio radio. Of course, there was no TV.

I liked to hear Gene Autry and Roy Rogers croon to their horses in my Saturday morning western movies (when I'd earned my dime to go to the show), but didn’t care for ‘hillbilly’ music much when I was a kid. Nevertheless, it was virtually almost all there was to hear locally and locally was the extent of it, except for the Mexican polka-sounding music from just across the border and pervading Del Rio itself. That combination was unique and had flavor, perhaps.

Mother loved the authentic ‘cowboy’ songs that were literally sung to lull the cattle herds to settle them on long cattle drives in the old days. I wasn’t too wild about those, either. They seemed so ‘draggy’. But over the years, I’ve developed an appreciation for all that stuff, when it’s good.

Yep - communication is the key, especially if it is genuine.

haha. You little taunter, you. I took the bait, briefly, but am removing it to my written archives. I meant it that I’ve given Nobel Prize winner Eliot more than enough of my hub. He can bask in his own glory from the grave. Any continuing rant possibly goes in my memoirs - or not. (wink) You’ll have to buy the book when it’s written to find out. Little masked men needn’t rally tonight, in any case. ;-)


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear, dear Genna, thank you. I truly put a lot into this one.

Yes, there is no way to escape the personal nature of poetry. I guess that, even when the personal input is rigid and cold, it still is what ‘goes-into’ the words and creates its poetic form. Obviously so, in some instances. It takes all kinds. One must say what one has to say in the way one prefers to say it.

I just love your description of what reading my hub was like for you - “taking a journey with a friend who understands.” That is so satisfying. Thank you, dear friend and for the votes, as well.

I look at the clock and it's after 3:30 AM, so I am pretty drowsy. I so love to be able to exchange thoughts in this way, though. I forget to look at the clock! Big hugs and goodnight for now.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

Hmm....if I taunt, it is only meant in good nature. I must admit that I am now curious what was deleted. Talk about taunting! ;-)

As for the country, it isn't quite that syereotypical anymore. . .hehe.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

This is an extremely interesting hub about poets committing poetry, demonstrated by your powerful poetry, dear Nellieanna. I've used the word committing on purpose, as poets certainly hurt and even kill us softly with their poems. Sometimes a poem means nothing to me, just to touch the core of my soul when I read it after one or the other experience had given me new insights.

I am a great fan of T.S. Eliot. I don't think his position on poetry, which is simply ‘common sense’, makes his or anyone's poetry just common sense. I mean, my position on numbers, which is simply common sense, doesn't make numbers common sense....

Beautiful, interesting and informative hub!


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

;-) Dear Shan. No mention was made or implied about motives for taunting; it was merely identified. When I did, I suddenly realized that I was about to do what I'd said I had no intention of doing, strictly because of being suggestible; but still I didn't honestly intend to proceed with that line of discussion, so I elected to not. It's good to have one's own choices, isn't it?

I shouldn't have taunted back. It was also in good nature; - still, there it is, doing what taunting may often achieve, but often to no special avail.

It will be a long time before my memoirs are written, much less published. There'll surely be various curiosity-satisfiers in it when and if it is written, and some revelations that had no earlier chance to stir curiosity because I am really a rather private individual. - - Or not. I feel no urge or obligation to provide any curiosity stoppers, especially when they have no significant direct bearing on anyone or their welfare other than to satisfy curiosity. They may provide more food for thought than such curiosity was seeking, but isn't that the way it is with delving into others? One uncovers more than one may have bargained for.

As you say, I'm amusing and that is possibly because I am so human and suggestible, especially to deeper suggestions from within my own self, which I like to identify, too. It often results in unsuspected enlightenment of a personal nature. I like being all that. I especially like approving of myself, even with my many human flaws and temptations. hehe.

Yes, I realize, that 'country' is no longer a stereotyped genre. Maybe more's the pity. It, too has succumbed to the homogenous pool that 'music' is becoming. It's ok. The history and roots are still around.

Love you.


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

My dearest Martie. Thank you. Yes - ‘committing poetry’ is a most apt description of what it does/is. It’s another and broader aspect of what I was trying to describe, "commiting" it being the actual effects on the hearer/reader, once a poet has let the poetry loose on the public. It may extend even to the point of 'killing' as in a kind of emotional murder! It also can be committing a lifting and enlightenment, but essentially is something being 'done to' the hearer by the poet, though it is done only by the person accepting it, as other crimes committed aren't. But I like that. Thank you for it.

Also I like your point that once one has resolved things, a poem touching on those very things hardly means anything to that person reading them, except possibly to validate what the person has already acquired its insights anyway.

No, Eliot’s common sense position doesn’t reduce any poetry, including his own to merely common sense. In fact ‘common sense’ is rarely all that ‘common’, is it? It’s usually a result of having wrestled with life enough to notice its main lessons and meanings, so as to stop fighting those ‘givens’ which we all must accept and respect.

Your appreciation of Eliot causes me to want to take a closer look. My response was admittedly a ‘knee-jerk’ one. I’m not a student of his work - and may never be an agreeing student of it; but I would like to know more so that, at least, I can knowledgeably defend what I think of it, per se. At present I have to admit that it is still something of a prolonged knee-jerk reaction, which is not my usual preferred response to anything. But in a way, it's fun. - I sort of enjoyed it. It reminded me so much of many people’s usual kind of response to things of which they have only the most cursory understanding! haha. It felt good to experience it so first-hand. I knew I’m no different, and it's obviously so, when something offends one of my pet values and opinions.

I can’t really buy into likening poetry either to clock-making or numbers, though. Both those entities are basically impersonal to start with, whereas poetry is basically personal to start with, so therein lies a difference of chasmic proportions, in my mind. One’s position on clockmaking or any other productive activity resulting in a physical, tangible ‘thing”; or one’s position on numbers, which most thinkers agree are the most objective set of communication tools known to people, are both more objective, as those entities themselves are. A position on poetry, though, like what it is, itself, is essentially a more subjective one, as well.

Than you for the kind praise of my hub. I hope it provides food for thought, as well as some pleasure! It felt good, writing it.

Hugs and love, dear CD.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

I am quite glad that you approve of yourself! Shouldn't we all? Besides, it wouldn't be so amusing to tease you if you didn't, because then you might misinterpret my motives and you would not be the beautiful soul that writes such poetry.

Love you, too.


ExoticHippieQueen 2 years ago

Creative and informative, all wrapped up in one amazing piece! Your poetry is so expressive and meaningful. I enjoyed all of it tremendously. The T. S. Eliot quote is brilliant. I may have to repeat it somewhere along the way.


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

To you, I might not be that soul if I misinterpreted you, but it would not change me, Shan.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

Well, if you want to be technical and/or philosophical. . :-P

I may have even said that twice. Not really sure if I sent the comment.I started before becoming ill or not. So, guess you will have to overlook it if I did - or not.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

It’s all right with me, but perhaps you confuse others’ self images with those you have of them. What I prefer to be is what/who I am.

Also, if I misinterpreted your motives, perhaps my soul would seem less beautiful in your image of me but my soul would not be changed by it, dear Shan. It would 'be' the same as it is and my interpretation of your motives would simply have supplied me with a sense of them in each instance so as to seem palatable and sensible in that instance, which is a natural human kindly response to others’ actions and attitudes, especially to those for whom one has enough regard to ponder their motives at all.

It’s redundant and unnecessary for any further interpretation or explanation of them to occur beyond just allowing them to make sense to the other person, and, therefore, to be happily accepted by that person, while they remain intact within oneself. More said by way of clarification is counter-productive. More is definitely less in that case, and can just as quickly as offered boomerang to undo the other’s accepted good sense of them, if not simply obscuring them entirely in the other’s mind. So it’s not a very good trade-off. But it's a choice.

ps - nothing to overlook: repetition of your comments has not occurred. Hope you're not too ill now! Aw - poor baby!


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Amy. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen you. How nice to see you now. Yes, you’re right. This hub does wrap up a lot in one package! I’d be interested to see in what context you’d include either of the T. S. Eliot quotes!

Thank you for the visit and comments!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

:-) Golly, all I was attempting to do was say I like you faults and all just the way you are, too! But, you make points for a potentially interesting discussion of another sort. Amusing AND thought provoking, you are.


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Another time, another place, another discussion, perhaps. Hope you're soon feeling better.


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 2 years ago from Clearwater Florida

Dear Nellieanna, what an altogether wonderful piece you have accomplished here. As you know, I write not only poetry, but articles, non-fiction and works of fiction. Poetry is the easiest for me to write technically, but it is the hardest to write from an emotional standpoint. Unlike informational works or writing fiction, poetry is very revealing. Whether writing a poem that directly reflects an experience in your life, or one that you have created from your imagination, it still reveals a lot about the poet. I have said before that writing poetry is a lot like undressing oneself to the world. To really express it from the heart you cannot be ashamed; you cannot hold back. Thank you again my friend for sharing your work with us. This reflects why you were chosen as the poet of the year!


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MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

Of couse, we can never compare poetry with a trial balance, balance sheet or income statement. What I've tried to say - My position on numbers, which is simply common sense for me in my capacity of bookkeeper/accountant, doesn't make numbers common sense, as many people, especially the right-brain orientated, just never manage to comprehend the truth exposed by those statements.

Sadly, poetry is just as far beyond the comprehension of the seriously left-brain thinker as financial statements are for the seriously right-brain thinker. I can't find the correct word for 'seriously' at this moment - I see them in the 80% + group.

Love you, Nellianna :)


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Wayne. Thank you. Your comment really says much needing to be said. Your writing is so well mated to your art. Perhaps that serves as the emotional dimension, outlet and expression of yourself, but with a less specific and more comfortable degree of personal or private revelation? Your ability to write and direct it as you prefer has much value, at the same time. All the bases can be covered without uncovering too much, or, to use your words, with less “undressing oneself to the world”. ;-)

How right you are that it makes little difference whether what one reveals is an actual experience of one’s own life or an imaginary one, though; the effect is the same. One is revealed either way. Words are so powerful. Writing one’s imagination may be even more revealing than writing one’s actual activities. What is it, “As a man thinketh, so is he”, but that truth stated in those terms. We are what we think and what we do may or may not follow suit, but the truth of our being is intact either way.

I see no cause for shame, since one ‘can’ hold back and one does have a choice whether to expose one’s nakedness. If one chooses to reveal oneself, it should be unashamedly, with openness and honesty. If there is lingering reason for shame, it is likely to be for a contradiction between the attempted covering of ‘appearances' and the reality of one’s inner thoughts and being; but shouldn't be for the reality itself.

I recognize some similarities in us in our approaches to writing, though with some differences. It would be fun to discuss those one-on-one sometime over that proverbial cup of joe!

If I have anything worth sharing, being able to reveal myself in my writing may be it. Thank you for that lovely compliment!


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Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Nellieanna 5 minutes ago from TEXAS Hub Author

What a delight to see you, Martie! I so appreciate your candid worthwhile comments, which add dimension to this discussion.

Your clarification of what you meant adds depth. I derive your meaning in the use of the term ‘seriously’ for a high degree of a person's right or left brainedness.

As someone who is almost equally right- and left-brained, each side being strong in its contributions, I’m naturally conversant with a dual view, so can see that those being ‘seriously’ and heavily weighted on one side or the other truly cannot fathom the view from the other side of someone who is just as heavily weighed oppositely.

When I lean toward either hemisphere, it’s a bit like ‘being’ totally that way, and the vice versa is true when leaning into the other. Being comfortably adept in either hemisphere underlies everything I do. I may make a conscious choice to go left-brain seriously’ for specific tasks needed for a demanding left-brain project, or may simply settle into the right brain's more spontaneous creative modes, which flow easily without a lot of effort.

I grant myself full latitude for that versatility and happily give myself over to each as it fits the focus. My entire focus when left-brain chimes in to work like an efficient computer is in it, even though this may have followed a period of ambiguity about embracing a left-brain project. My 1% leaning to the right side tends to show at times. ;-) But soon as left side switches ‘on’, ambiguity gives way to serious attention, analysis, observation, realistic appraisal of what is needed in information or skill and to effective acquisition of any needed skills. I love the process when in it.

This is not my right brain’s process which is almost totally spontaneous, though many of those left-brain processes add support for the creative processes, because much of my conscious and sub-conscious awareness which is always ‘on’ though easy & unforced is quietly dealing with typically left-brain processes such as problem solving, probing facts for truths, analyzing for specific objectives, devising better ways for more efficiency, pondering momentous questions, observing and noticing my surrounding and what is going on 'here and now', making judgments about my options, disciplining myself toward accomplishing goals that matter to me, even while managing to get tiresome ’necessary’ stuff done effectively, from laundry to taxes. I enjoy feeling these processes working well, giving frequent ‘aha’ moments from seeIng clear solutions even for challenges and tasks previously unencountered.

Someone once told me that I ‘think too much’. I almost laughed out loud. I’m like Emily Dickinson in that, when she asked her mentor, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: “”How do most people live without any thought? There are many people in the world,--you must have noticed them in the street,--how do they live? How do they get strength to put on their clothes in the morning?"

Like you, I’ve worked in accounting-bookkeeping and also for many years as supervisor and main-cog in an engineering department, so I understand what you’re saying and I see the ‘connection’ you intended to make. It feels good to observe in this way and I’m glad you bring it up here in this discussion of poetry and various views of what it is and how it is approached, because the subject is a many-sided one with possibly endless lateral views and truths.

Much love to you, my cyber daughter. Hugs. (hehe - now you know how weird I am! tee hee!)


pochinuk 2 years ago

Nellieanna,

I see this is a jet set hub, many have traveled here before me.

This is my first visit, thank you, I must come back though. Up there you appear only to be sitting on the surface, but I know better, you are a poet!

I read:

"...

Poets are folks who find

Short-term commitments

Inscribed in cryptic comments

Describing Long-Term Real,

Rejecting superficiality

With all its mean confusion

..."

I will be just below you continuing to enjoy what you have recorded; there is much to keep the lengthy thread of my attention weaving within your lovely verses and pertinency.

If you got a moment, just wave, I will see you,

-pochinuk


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello and welcome here, pochinuk. I am truly pleased to meet you, and regret it’s taken this long! I appreciate your following me. Your presence on Hubpages is quite admirable in so short a time as a member. I’ll soon celebrate being here 4 years. Hard to believe, time goes so quickly, especially at my age! I’ll celebrate my 82nd birthday in only days from now.

I confess to snooping the old-fashioned way (by observing what you say and leave unsaid) and, so, learned your full name while peeking into your insights. I like to know whom I’m addressing. In your case, quite rewarding. I will certainly probe further. I’ve already found several mutual interests in my snoop. One is Wendell Berry. Many years ago someone I greatly treasured sent me one of his books of essays, “A Continuous Harmony”. My someone knew Wendell Berry personally, both of them being in and around Kentucky (where I once lived, too) and both being involved in, among other things, higher education there. I was so arrested when I saw your recommendation for his work on one of your hubs that I ran upstairs to lay my hands on that book & feel its presence. It’s right here by me now, so I can again read in it.

I chuckled at your phrase for my comment thread as ’a jet set hub’. I love that. Then I also pondered about your impression of my being ‘up there,’ - appearing - ‘only to be sitting on the surface’. At first wondering how my profile photo related to that and hoping not that I appear shallow, - before I realized you surely referred to the hub’s title photo of the poet precariously sitting on the precipice, reflecting, possibly somewhat unattached to it! No matter. It was fun mulling it around. You are somewhat enigmatic and that is quite refreshing. Thank you for visiting and for giving me the title of poet, and particularly that it has ‘pertinency’ for you. What a lovely compliment! (Too bad that isn’t among the attributes one can vote up! The adjectives provided seldom quite fit the impression one has gotten of the hubs! :-)


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

It reveals to us nothing,

Yet stirs us too much.

We're drawn to rehearse

Each sigh and each crutch,

Immersing our very own souls

In scintillating, shimmering verse

Well once again Nellieanna my dear friend what can I say except I am in awe of your talent and too repeat myself your gems are so inspirational. Here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here. lots of love from Wales.

Eddy.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Eddy. I am delighted to see you and to thank you so much for your lovely comments. I enjoy your lovely hubs, too!

I always look forward to sharing with you and our other fellow writers here on Hubpages; - yes, in many more hubs! Love to you from Texas! Hugs!


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Exquisitely said, on so many levels. I for one, in my last piece of poetry meant something entirely deferent than was perceived by so many others. However, I can see WHY people took their own views. I was actually honored that my true self shines through.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Deb. I know what you mean about having something in mind in one's poem, but it's seen differently by others. I think, perhaps, that is what makes poetry useful. It stimulates readers to think and opens possibilities they may or may not have previously considered. It's a bit like a marriage, in which there are two totally different individuals but in their blending, like the poet and the reader, something shared happens. It's like when everyone wins!


Riki 21 months ago

What about borrowing a siitotuan from my brother, whose kids thought they had a boy turtle ( Otis ) and were greatly surprised to discover Otis in possession of an egg!Hey, it's a good story. I didn't say it rhymed. But you can handle that.Billion hugs,S


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 21 months ago from TEXAS Author

Riki ~ I suppose that would be vexing, though it might be a pleasant surprise, instead.

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