Good Poetry & Bad Poetry (18 September 2016) Discussion 2

second Sunday discussion featuring our WhatsApp group members
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Nibash: I have not any better knowledge about good poetry and bad poetry as I have all the times enjoyed poetry from the different point of views. But yes, there is something in my brain regarding poetry that poetry contains different kinds of messages for example poetry are revolutionary, historical, mythical, attributing etc.

Sujatha: In my opinion, all poems do not convey messages. There are poems that are the expression of emotions. In my opinion, good poem is one that touches my heart and leaves me in awe.
There are nonsensical verses and silly poems which do not convey any meaning at all. They are what their names suggest…. Nonsensical and silly…..but they help in making kids enjoy the rhyme and rhythm of expression. Therefore even such poems are good poems considering the outcome.

Rahul (Junior): But if we go through the image of the poet, all poems convey some message and we should take it as a poem. As my elder told me that there is nothing like a bad poem because if we call a poem is bad , we are abusing the literature, because its means that literature is bad. The poem can not fulfill each and every aspect of mankind but its mean is not that he has no moral values and heart threatening quality. Each poem should be separated according to the basic ideas, it clears that what is good and what is bad if we determine it.

Nidhi: “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”
– William Wordsworth

Just by reading these lines our point of discussion today is half answered. There is nothing called a ‘good or bad poetry’.
But Wordsworth commented in the Preface to the ‘Lyrical Ballads’ that ‘all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’, I wonder what Wordsworth meant by ‘good poetry’.

Poetry according to me is all about putting one’s thoughts in such a way that the reader gets emotionally carried away and imagines or recollects some retrospects in life. We can say that a good poetry is the poetry which is or will be liked and enjoyed by many people. It connects to your mind, body and soul. You kind of stick to it. Such is the usage of words that you quote them often..use them in your speech , words and actions.

But coming to the question of good versus bad poetry, I do not consider that bad poetry is the exact opposite of good poetry. A poetry may be bad simply because of the subject of the poetry, although it may be excellent in terms of the craft of the poetry such as lyrical quality, imagery, etc. It is just what appeals the readers which makes the poetry popular. Anyhow poets have the license to commit mistakes although the language should be flowery and acceptable to the reader.

I personally feel that poetry cannot be considered as good or bad . The difference between good and bad poetry is also a matter of personal likes and dislikes. Just as all people do not like the same kind of food, not all people like the same kind of poetry.

Sanjay: I feel whether it’s a poem or any form of literature, one can appreciate it by appreciating its artistic qualities,the pleasure it gives, the enjoyment one gets so on as so forth. Our individual expectations from a poem must not make us disrespect the Literary quality of any form of art–whether a nursery rhyme or a poem by a renowned poet. It can be valued for its own sake. There is nothing like a “nonsensical poem” or “silly” one. if we term the composition as this, then it demeans the value of the art and the pleasure it gives to a reader– whether a child or an adult. Poetry gives pleasure, and not serves moral aspect of life.

Sujatha: Just as u term a poem n elegy or lyric or ode…thr r nonsense poems that exist only for the children to revel in rhyme n rhythm…. I am not demeaning poetry….pls check b4 u comment. Dr. Suess is a nonsense poet. Nonsense poems r not bad. They r an art by themselves. Name a kid that doesn’t enjoy Dr. Suess.

Ahmad: Am still pondering over the topic to have my say, but one thing is clear to my conscious that the poets I have read are GOOD POETS hence they composed GOOD POETRY. Is there any BAD POET who Written BAD POETRY?

Sanjay: (Quoting Sujatha’s comments) Yes i did go through your opinion, then, and I stand by my opinion that a poem is written for pleasure not to convey any message or not to impress any individual. It is written for all, yes we may like or dislike a poem, but that does not make the poetic composition a “Bad” one. It might not have appealed me, but that does not make the poem a “Bad” or “good”one. what is bad for me the same artistic composition may have taken a child to the utmost imaginative world.

Ahmad: It’s not a reader who reads poem but it’s a poem that reads the reader. Every poem has numerous meanings and interpretations than it appears to be. So by the end it’s our own literary, imagery vision that judges the poem. It’s good to accept am a GOOD READER or a BAD READER rather than……

Sanjay: Perhaps you did not intend like that, but the terms “silly” and “nonsensical” do convey a negative aspect towards an art. So I felt to propose an “Art for Art’s Sake” opinion. (As Sujatha did not term anything as ‘bad poetry’.)

Nidhi: And i would also like to ask what oscar Wilde meant when he said “All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling. To be natural is to be obvious,and to be obvious is to be inartistic”. While Wordsworth said that poetry is ‘a spontaneous flow of emotions’.

Sujatha: (referring to the pictures containing titles of the poems) Pls check the pic I sent. Thr r numerous poems that exist under that head just as lyrics elegies sonnets and such. I’m sorry if u haven’t come across these poems… I had the pleasure of reading n enjoying them with my kids.

Nidhi: Actually I feel all of us write poems and some of them sometimes lack the requisites of poetry still we give a vent to our emotions through that but masters of poetry may find out faults in that…does it mean our poetry becomes’ bad or nonsensical’ …it will still remain our favorite piece of art…isnt it???

Sanjay: Absolutely true Nidhi.. agreed. it will be genuine it will be the product of “spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions recollected in tranquility”.

Sanjay: (Commenting on Wilde’s arguments) Nidhi the answer is hidden in those two quotes only. Let’s first see the exact words of Wordsworth poetry is”… the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity […]”. Now if we just highlight the word “powerful” then the thought is very clear. It’s not just an “obvious” feeling as Oscar Wilde says, it’s a special one, a genuine one that has the “power” to create or recreate an art. It’s a power to form an art which takes a huge mental and emotional power. So both of them were talking about the process of artistic creation. Not dealing with poetry “Bad or Good.” If it has a powerful feeling for Wordsworth, it has a greater feeling for Wilde which is beyond obvious.

Nidhi: Indeed…Thank u sanjay..wonderful…i missed on that part.

Sanjay: I hope Nidhi, I have interpreted it correctly. Pleasure is always mine Nidhi.

Usman: Like most of you have said,there is nothing like bad poetry, it’s just a matter of taste ,if you like this, you don’t have to like this,but in all poetry there is a motive behind all of them which makes the writer compose that poem, so judging that poem will be a choice of taste and another thing is, when someone don’t like a poem ,maybe it can be as a result of the current mode of the reader.
example,when one who just got divorced from his wife came across a love poem or heartbreaking poem,one may not like the poem at that moment because of the situation he is in ,but maybe some other time he may like it.
In a nutshell, I don’t believe there is anything like bad poetry because classifying a poem as bad maybe an insult or something of that nature to the poet.

Shivangi: Ac to me, poetry is basically the feelings we want to express,
And feeling can be good or bad. But that doesn’t mean any poem can be bad bcz feeling can not be said, that it’s bad. But one can say that the grammatical features of a poem may be not that good but it does not make poem bad. So, I think there nothing exist like bad poetry.

Rahul (Junior): It’s not a reader who reads the poem but it’s a poem that reads the reader. Every poem has numerous meanings and interpretations than it appears to be. So by the end, it’s our own literary, imagery vision that judges the poem. It’s good to accept am a GOOD READER or a BAD READER rather than…… is remarkable.
But poetry should have universality, and it does not matter that you like or dislike it. As above it was told about Wordsworth feeling is matter” one fine day in the middle of the night” we have no concept or feeling about it. Some who understand the meaning that poet wants to exhibit for them it will be good.

Mehzbeen: Reading a lot about varieties of experience and experiments related to poetry. I opined that every poet of various ages has a common thinking as for whether his poetry is a genius or an average. In the poetry of culture – poetry can be known as Good, bad and ugly. With time and experience, we come to know our abilities and we know whether the poetry is a cliched or what is not working about it. As the saying goes”beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” very much it is true to poetry, if any poetry compels you and move you may define It as ‘good’ . In straight words, it is a perception of a reader which make a poetry.
“We have seen thee, the queen of cheese, lying quietly at your ease, gently fanned by evening breeze, thy fair form no flies dare seize” looking at these lines some as a reader will get squeezed some will get nauseated and others might enjoy it. So the Perception n liking is important.