Thursday, January 20, 2005

Houston, we have a DC Heroes game, AND the Bard rants on poetry

Got 6 players now. And a cast of people looking to NPC once and a while. Should be amusing. First game will be Orientation Day, then maybe a scavenger hunt, then a few more games, then a field trip to...OUTER SPACE (cue obligatory echoes)!!!!!

I'm on the second Wheel of Time novel now. Jordan's an OK writer, I suppose. Good beginnings, good endings, but his middles tend to be boring and have a bit too much filler for my tastes. The novels could be cut down by a hundred to a hundred fifty pages, I think, without reducing them too much.

The following rant is something I expect will get some people pissed off. Please, feel free to post and tell me I'm an ass, that I have not one whit of poetic joy in my soul, and that I'm a barren, lifeless corpse walking on two legs only because he is under the power of some malevolent, potent, pulsing star that spews out dark light like malign tentacles into the very depth of my being. Or whatever. What I'm saying is that I encourage people to argue with me about this. Because I love a good argument (as those that know me are fully aware).

I've been reading a lot of Canadian poetry for my English class lately, along with a good amount of the classic poets like Wordworth and Yeats. Honestly, I prefer the old guys the best. The poetry I've been reading by Canadian poets is this newfangled "free verse". Not open verse. Free verse, wherein it doesn't even nessecarily need to be a poem, and the more incoherent it becomes the more it is praised. I prefer the powerful images of the 19th century poets. Not dry, not nessecarily rhyming, but posessing of an incredible power and energy while still holding to a coherent setup.

Now, I shouldn't disparage free verse too much. I've used it myself, a time or two. So have several authors I enjoy, such as Gaiman and De Lint (at least I think De Lint has used it at one point or another). But much of the stuff that tends to be publish today lacks the coherence of those authors. I find that a lot of poetry today is rooted in expressing your emotions in a sort of Freudian poetry wherein you just keep on talking while the psychoanalyst (in this case the reader of the poem) attempts to decipher what you're saying to get a better look at your inner workings. The problem here is that I am a very firm believer in the fact that literature doesn't have to MEAN anything. Or if it does, it doesn't have to be a window into what you're feeling, or deep social commentary. I very much believe in shallow and ephemeral motivations behind authors and poets. I, personally, write for my own enjoyment. I don't write to express some deep emotion, and I generally don't do social commentary (though the one time I DID I won $200 and first place in a writing perhaps that should tell me something). So when poets write some indecipherable gibberish that tries to express their inner turmoil centered around not getting a date for their senior prom, interpreted through the lens of a backhoe, a spruce tree, a dove, and a water melon, I tend to sigh and shake my head.

Don't think me shallow here. I very much enjoy reading poetry, and reading into the symbolism and depth of the great poets. I just find a lot of today's stuff, especially the poetry being used by many Canadian poets to express themselves especially as being "Canadian", to be everything I have previously stated.


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