We can define 'verse' & ''prose' easily enough, it's that term
'poetry' that gives us trouble. Finnegans Wake, eg, for just one
I realize that we do define (I know I do: why just last night I
decided that one of the performers at the final blast at the Edmonton
Poetry festival was a fine storyteller/entertainer but for me what he
did was no 'poetry'; but a lot of people in the audience probably
didnt see it that way.....
On 25-Apr-10, at 1:10 PM, Jeffrey Side wrote:
> But Doug, isn’t this “lack” of a definition just a relativistic
> rationalisation (not from you, I stress) to allow non-poetry the
> same "status" as poetry?
> As Bob said to Angel earlier, surely we need definitions and
> classifications to talk intelligently about the subject. Of course,
> we shouldn’t be too stringent in our definitions, but surely an all-
> out relativistic taxonomy can’t be a good thing?
> Original Message:
> I suspect it's many things, & changes with whoever is making a
> definition, yet, somehow or other, this sloppy set (or whatever the
> term is) still has a hold on us, & we each of us thinks we know what
> 'poetry' is.
> Every time I thought I had a definition that fit, I'd find something
> that was outside the wall yet struck me, as yes, poetry.
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Continuations (with Sheila E Murphy)
I was immediately set upon by two or three
critics, who hurled sophistries and
maledictions at me that were astonishing
in their dimness.
Jorge Luis Borges