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Poetry: Why Do We Make This Stuff? Multiple Roots and Forking Paths.

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Presentation on theme: "Poetry: Why Do We Make This Stuff? Multiple Roots and Forking Paths."— Presentation transcript:

1 Poetry: Why Do We Make This Stuff? Multiple Roots and Forking Paths

2 One way of “coming at” poetry is to consider the several distinct types of poets that have evolved over millennia. These types are not always mutually exclusive (one poet may write in several modes and be both a “moaner” and a “mad seer,” for instance), but it’s useful to break them down this way in order to understand the many distinct impulses which give rise to poetry. The Moaner The Maker The Community Bard The Mad Seer Poetic categories are broken down in different ways and with different terminology, depending on what handbook or scholarly tradition you consult. The above terms represent some of the most important types of poets and are convenient terms we will use for the sake of this course.

3 One of the “Community Bard” Sub-Traditions: Spoken-Word Poetry

4 Spoken Word Poetry The Oral Tradition

5 This stuff is really old… Hey, Daddy-o Homer 800 BC Old English poetry 400 AD Native American 8000 BC to present The Beats 1950s Slam Poetry 1980s to present

6 The Beats (1950s,60s) Getting poetry out of the classroom Poetry read to jazz accompaniment





11 Ferlinghetti: iting/323/MiscPoemsFerlinghetti.htm iting/323/MiscPoemsFerlinghetti.htm Ginsberg: ng/323/MiscpoemsGinsbergHowl.htm

12 Rap and Hip Hop Came of age alongside the poetry slam phenom. Hyperbolic, gymnastic, inventive Heavily end-rhyme based; rhymes often funny, clever, silly Distinct prosody

13 The Poetry Slam and Open-Mike Coffee House Reading Harks back to the Beats Again, desire to get poetry out of the classroom Emphasis on anyone can write poetry Tends to be political Theatrical, sometimes mixed-media

14 How do slams work?

15 check these out! AND

16 Listen to Spoken Word selections, plus Beat poems with jazz accompaniment

17 Blurring the line between poetry and theater; performances are like one-person, one-act plays. Aggressive, clever, sometimes funny rhyme, not in any strict pattern (triple rhymes, internal rhymes, slant rhymes, repeated words, etc. In video, “Lazarus, Lazie, Lazy”). Projection! Loud broadcast. Number of unstressed syllables don’t matter, maybe. Success depends on how cleverly you get the four stresses in (rap). Getting into a groove. Memorizing the material adds interest. Mixing genres: insert singing, use accompanying sound, etc. Ritual presence of performer.


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