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Thread: Iron Poet XV

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    Default Iron Poet XV

    Welcome to Iron Poet, Round Fifteen!!

    Rules

    1) Only the first 16 respondents expressing a desire to compete will be the contestants. It IS a first come, first served basis.

    2) The contest will consist of a number of rounds pitting 2 randomly determined poets against each other until only one contestant remains (winner).

    3) Each match-up will be given a theme, picture, article, subject, or other criteria to write on, and the poem submitted must match this as much as possible. Stricter following of prompts may help you win. Prompts that are words may be interpreted in any way (and any form of the word can be used), but keep in mind the judge may not see the connection if it's too ambiguous.

    4) The winner as determined by a panel of judges will advance to the next round.

    5) In case of a judge or judges not posting judgments in a timely manner, Vaynor will adjudicate and determine the winner.

    6) The poems will be limited to 1000 words with a 50 word minimum

    7) The entries will be poems. All forms of poetry are acceptable, as long as they meet the required word lengths. If your chosen style is too short, you are free to make two of them, i.e., you may make a limerick with 48 words, then add another limerick, still following the same theme, to reach the required word length.

    8) All posted deadlines will given in as much time zones as possible, as labeled.

    9) No late entries will be accepted. If you don't post or fail to post by the deadline, you will be disqualified. A 15 minute grace period is allowed. You have one freebie per contest, use it wisely. This allows you to be up to half a day late (12 hours) with your poem (no more).

    10) If your entry does not include the article(s) and the picture(s), you will most likely lose because of it, however this will not disqualify your poem, as poems are judged on best use of the prompts.

    11) The judgments are final. What the judges decide is how it is.

    12) The entries will only include content suitable for the Playground.

    13) Anything not clear will be decided by me.

    14) The contestants will have 1 week (roughly) from the bracket posting to get their entries posted.

    15) Post your poems in spoilers. Judges: do not read poems before the round ends.

    16) Feel free to edit the post with your poem in it until the round ends. After that, any additional edits will disqualify you (barring a use of your half-day extension).

    17) Judges have 1 week to complete judgments. If not all judges respond by this time, the round will be decided as if the late judges were not a part of it (i.e. if there are 5 judges to begin with and only 3 are on time, the round will be decided with 2 votes as opposed to 3). If there are only an even number of judgments, I will cast the remaining vote.

    18) At the end of each contest, everyone still reading the thread will be able to anonymously vote on their favorite poem of the entire contest (encompassing all rounds). The poem with the most votes will win the "Best of Show" award!

    THE IRON POET HALL OF FAME
    1. Ravyn
    2. Rubakhin
    3. Elvaris
    4. Alarra
    5. Truemane
    6. Devigod
    7. Alarra
    8. Devigod
    9. Alarra
    10. Elvaris
    11. Rutskarn
    12. Alarra
    13. averagejoe
    14. Asthix

    Contestants:

    1. Bladescape
    2. Lil Shiro
    3. nimdyd
    4. leakingpen
    5. Szilard
    6. averagejoe
    7. Alarra
    8. Elfin
    9. Omeganaut
    10. SaintRidley
    11. Slii Arhem
    12. Elvaris
    13. Worlok
    14. The_JJ
    15. Silviya
    16. Weezer




    Judges:
    1. Abhorson
    2. Haruki Kun
    3. Asthix
    4. Dark Elf Bard





    POTENTIAL APPLICANTS FOR THE JUDGE POSITION TAKE NOTE: THESE CONTESTS LAST A LONG TIME AND THIS IS NOT A FLEETING RESPONSIBILITY. IF YOU SIGN UP I EXPECT YOU TO POST JUDGMENTS ON TIME. IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO POST JUDGMENTS, TELL ME. THANK YOU.
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2012-01-09 at 06:49 PM.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    I'd like to judge, please.

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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    Ah'll be a contestant, please.
    "Trust bladescape, Shadow of Doubt,"




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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    I'll participate as a contestant this time.
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    I'd like to compete this time.
    Last edited by truemane; 2011-12-22 at 09:38 AM.
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    VENGEANCE SHALL BE MINE!.... uh, i mean, i would like to compete please.
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    I think I'd like to judge, far better at critiquing things than writing something of my own anyways.
    At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman, and these hills, the softness of the sky, the outline of the trees at this very minute lose the illusory meaning with which we clothed them, henceforth more remote than a lost paradise.
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    In to compete.
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    I'll be a judge, please.

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    He is... the most interesting Angel in the world.
    "I don't always keep spreadsheets over crazy voting patterns on the first day. But when I do, I'm the one running the game."


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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    I'll compete.


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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    Well, I was going to volunteer to judge, but since you already have 3 I'll compete. I prefer writing anyway.

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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    I'll join as a competitor.

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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    I'm going again. It will be nice to see how far I get when my competition doesn't drop out for the first few rounds.
    I have returned, and plan on focusing on world-building. Issues are being dealt with.

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    Lightbulb Re: Iron Poet XV

    I told myself that if I won last round, I'd judge. So, I'm a judge!
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    Even after quite some time at the forum, it's the first time I stumble upon this. I just have to voice some thoughts I had over the concept. Can you really judge poetry or any form of literary work, besides merely liking it or not by purely subjective criteria. While there are some objective philological standpoints for literature's quality, they are far from widely accepted and reliable. Secondly, having to write a lyrical piece, whether in traditional or more freeform fashion, on a random and vague subject, and over the course of a week feels frankly biased in terms of inspiration. For it cannot be expected for even an experienced writer to pull his thoughts out of thin air, without at least forcing some words on paper which will later feel disconcerted and cacophonous. And finally (for now at least, fear not this rant is almost over), how do you deal with fairness of contest between native and non-native speakers or safeguard the procedure from any form of plagiarism from published -but relatively unknown- works?
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    Personally, I find that the vague, random prompts and short timeline have resulted in some of my best pieces. Granted they wont all be and sometimes inspiration just doesn't come, but I like that they make me think outside of the box a bit. And I often rewrite portions of poems after the contest finishes to incorporate criticisms or just things I overlooked for lack of time. As for palgiarism, I think for most of us this contest is not about winning, but about getting constructive feedback and criticism of our work or to serve as a catalyst for spending more time writing. Copying other's work would not serve either purpose and I would hope that people would just be honest.

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    I have to agree with Alarra, but would also like to add my own point.

    Having a panel of 3 or 5 judges can actually be quite helpful. It teaches you how to cater to and please multiple audiences who all expect different things from you. This is, of course, a very important skill for anyone in the literary arts to have, especially those who plan on publishing their works in the future. And it also gives you a feel for the different things that various people look for in poetry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakmakallan View Post
    Can you really judge poetry or any form of literary work, besides merely liking it or not by purely subjective criteria. While there are some objective philological standpoints for literature's quality, they are far from widely accepted and reliable.
    All forms of judgment must ultimately be subjective. That does not mean the judgments are arbitrary or meaningless. It certainly does not mean that preference is arbitrary, that criticism is meaningless, or that there is no such thing as objective quality.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-12-29 at 08:48 PM.

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    It's like the difference between reading a film critic's review and just looking at the star rating. The star rating, by its very nature, is necessarily an arbitrary and relative means of measurement (and a poor one at that). The critic has to put one, but the difference between a 3 and a 3.5 may be so miniscule so as to be meaningless. And what he/she finds amazing you may find boring.

    However, the critic's job is to give you an idea of the experience of the film. What it looks like, feels like, plays like. Some idea of what his or her experience was in watching it. That's the part that's valuable. You can read the critic's work, decide whether or not it makes sense, and move on from there.

    Same deal here. Which poem a judge likes, in the end, comes down to personal preference. Same as American Idol and Figure Skating. But the critiques are what draw us here and keep us here. The discussions of our work and ideas as to how we can improve. It's hard for poets (writers of any kind, really) to find supportive communities, and yet a supportive community is the single greatest resource a writer can have.

    So that's what these things are, really: community workshops in the guise of a contest.

    And as for writing on spec, write anything for a while (especially for a living) and you'll see that singing in chains increases creativity, not the opposite. What was it Leonard Bernstein said? To achieve great things two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.

    And as Alarra said, there is no provision for plagiarism. I can't imagine anyone actually wanting to win one of these things badly enough to cheat. And we all know each other here. Really, it's more like a neighbourhood coffee shop than American Gladiators.

    And if someone self-identified as a non-native speaker, I'd probably take it into consideration in my critique but the best poem has to win. Others may feel differently but I couldn't in good conscience give that any kind of real leeway to a non-native speaker anymore than the Olympics would give leeway for a one-legged man in the 100 meter dash.

    But all that being said... you write poetry? Come play with us. It'll be worth your time. You'll see. Some of the folks who write here started off with very little experience (I think it was Asthix who had to look up enjambment on Wikipedia his first time out and now look at him!) and the speed with which they've improved is downright scary.
    Last edited by truemane; 2011-12-29 at 10:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lil Shiro View Post
    Having a panel of 3 or 5 judges can actually be quite helpful. It teaches you how to cater to and please multiple audiences who all expect different things from you. This is, of course, a very important skill for anyone in the literary arts to have, especially those who plan on publishing their works in the future. And it also gives you a feel for the different things that various people look for in poetry.
    This says it beautifully.

    The time constraint, the random prompt, the fact that a judge can say almost anything they want about your poem and its final, all of this taught me new things about poetry every time I participated.

    Shiro is in fact totally correct about having to learn how to cater to and please multiple audiences in order to advance. (and yeah, I am really competitive so this was the perfect excuse to get me in)

    Last competition when I wrote the sonnet for the 3rd round, I did so because I realized that that style of poetry had the greatest chance of getting two specific judges votes if I did well enough. In the end the votes went as I thought because, in my opinion, I was able to learn what I had not previously gotten about writing a sonnet and accomplish a piece that I could feel comfortable, if not excited about.

    More to your point though Rakmakallan, yes it is possible to judge poetry. How the structure, style and meter relates to the prompt, how the presence or lack of rhyme, enjambment, metaphor or allegory work.

    I've found that a good formula for critiquing something is to have an equal amount of positive to negative points in your response. Many people on this board have thanked me for a judgement of their work (outside of this competition) for the same reason I'm in it now.

    If you can find someone who can expand your horizon on something like poetry or writing, that is a valuable thing. That is what I have found in this competition and I urge all who want to improve themselves to become a contestant!
    Last edited by Asthix; 2011-12-29 at 10:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nimdyd View Post
    But all that being said... you write poetry? Come play with us. It'll be worth your time. You'll see. Some of the folks who write here started off with very little experience (I think it was Asthix who had to look up enjambment on Wikipedia his first time out and now look at him!) and the speed with which they've improved is downright scary.
    Agreed. These contests and the people here really foster a great atmosphere for growth and improvement. I'm amazed at the difference between what I write now and what I wrote when I started. (Also had to look up enjambment. )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amotis View Post
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    We need some more competitors, guys! Let's get this contest going.
    “As I helped him up, I felt him shake all over,
    so I asked him to forgive me, without knowing what for,
    but that was my lot, asking forgiveness, I even asked forgiveness
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asthix View Post
    I've found that a good formula for critiquing something is to have an equal amount of positive to negative points in your response.
    While it can be helpful to avoid being disparaging when one wants to give helpful feedback, I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's a good idea to provide an equal number of positive and negative points. It's far more honest (and more helpful to the writer) if the reviewer says exactly what they think; no one who wants to write is going to be put off by criticism. The truth is that all writing is not equally good. Say what is positive, but don't feel obliged to provide positive counterpoints to every negative, and don't feel guilty about dealing out criticism. Honest feedback will allow someone to grow as a writer, and the gains made will far outweigh a little temporary emotional hurt.

    Edit – Vaynor, if you're fine with making the competition one round shorter, it could be done with only eight competitors. That would also greatly reduce the strain on the judges.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-12-29 at 11:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nimdyd View Post
    And if someone self-identified as a non-native speaker, I'd probably take it into consideration in my critique but the best poem has to win. Others may feel differently but I couldn't in good conscience give that any kind of real leeway to a non-native speaker anymore than the Olympics would give leeway for a one-legged man in the 100 meter dash.
    Hear, hear. As a non-native speaker, I want my poem to receive the same treatment it would receive if it had been written by a native speaker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakmakallan View Post
    Even after quite some time at the forum, it's the first time I stumble upon this. I just have to voice some thoughts I had over the concept. Can you really judge poetry or any form of literary work, besides merely liking it or not by purely subjective criteria. While there are some objective philological standpoints for literature's quality, they are far from widely accepted and reliable. Secondly, having to write a lyrical piece, whether in traditional or more freeform fashion, on a random and vague subject, and over the course of a week feels frankly biased in terms of inspiration. For it cannot be expected for even an experienced writer to pull his thoughts out of thin air, without at least forcing some words on paper which will later feel disconcerted and cacophonous. And finally (for now at least, fear not this rant is almost over), how do you deal with fairness of contest between native and non-native speakers or safeguard the procedure from any form of plagiarism from published -but relatively unknown- works?
    May i suggest you read some past threads and see how we judged? That will answer your questions.
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    Kudos for chaingun-pace responses; I am out for a day and have half a dozen of people to answer to (yes the syntax could be different to avoid the preposition at the end of the sentence, shut up imaginary philological troll).

    Anyhow, in general I can both understand the reasons to hold competitions and -in some cases- the logic behind the criticism and decisions, still I could never agree in a comparison of quality beyond a simple conundrum of taste. Thus, should a critic incorporate elements of proper and "scientific" literary analysis, they can't really deem quality. On the other hand, if they rely solely on personal opinion, then no actual benefit can be derived from their word.

    While the use of prompts and time limits in retrospect appear interesting, the notion of creating art with the thought of the maximum universal appeal possible seems absurd. First of all, for lack of equality in the skills of lack appreciation and familiarity background. Furthermore, because an artist, more so a poet, functions as a voice of their era, constituting an alternate interpretation -in lieu of science for example- of reality (this would even be applicable for fantasy and science-fiction as brainchilds of this time of faceless machinery and desperate escapism).

    All in all, I am not really opposed to the idea of this poetry contest, however I feel the structure could be changed, even in deviation from the "Iron Chef" of its namesake. My suggestion would be keeping the number of contestants open, the prompt and time limits remaining unchanged, but all participants are given the same prompt and are solely subjected to constructive criticism of their work, or for the sake of competition, score being kept on a 1-10 scale instead of the current single elimination.

    As for the suggestions to participate, I have been writing myself, though I do not feel confident enough to share with the playground at the moment. Also, I am currently in the middle of moving from Greece to the Netherlands for my phd, and barely have time to keep track of my pbp campaigns, let alone concentrate on writing. However, I would be glad to be a judge in the next competition, whenever that might occur.

    I leave you with 4 poems from some of my favorite greek poets. In posted order: Giorgos Seferis (Literature Nobel prize laureate, a beloved of analysts and readers alike, though amid the latter popularity has waned over the last decades, I believe), Konstantinos Kavafis aka Constantine Cavafy (regarded as one of the greatest in modern greek literature), Nikos Kavvadias (sailor and poet, not as highly acclaimed but a great storyteller and raconteur nonetheless) and Katerina Gogou (anarchist, contemporary poet, greatly ignored by the eldest, immensely praised in politically-savvy circles). Notice the fluctuation of critique depending on the crowd and their backgrounds?
    [Poems have been pulled from various sources on the internet and the translations might not be perfect]

    Giorgos Seferis- Our Sun
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    This sun was mine and yours; we shared it.

    Who's suffering behind the golden silk, who's dying?

    A woman beating her dry breasts cried out; `Cowards,

    they've taken my children and torn them to shreds, you've

    killed them

    gazing at the fire-flies at dusk with a strange look,

    lost in blind thought.'

    The blood was drying on a hand that a tree made green,

    a warrior was asleep clutching the lance that cast light

    against his side.

    It was ours, this sun, we saw nothing behind the gold

    embroidery

    then the messengers came, dirty and breathless,

    stuttering unintelligible words

    twenty days and nights on the barren earth with thorns only

    twenty days and nights feeling the bellies of the horses

    bleering

    and not a moment's break to drink rain-water.

    You told them to rest first and then to speak, the light had

    dazzled you.

    They died saying `We don't have time', touching some rays

    of the sun.

    You'd forgotten that no one rests.

    A woman howled `Cowards'. like a dog in the night.

    Once she would have been beautiful like you

    with the wet mouth, veins alive beneath the skin,

    with love.

    This sun is ours; you kept all of it, you wouldn't follow

    me.

    And it was then I found about those things behind the

    gold and the silk:

    we don't have time. The messengers were right


    Konstantinos Kavafis- Ithaca
    Spoiler
    Show
    When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
    pray that the road is long,
    full of adventure, full of knowledge.
    The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
    the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
    You will never find such as these on your path,
    if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
    emotion touches your spirit and your body.
    The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
    the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
    if you do not carry them within your soul,
    if your soul does not set them up before you.

    Pray that the road is long.
    That the summer mornings are many, when,
    with such pleasure, with such joy
    you will enter ports seen for the first time;
    stop at Phoenician markets,
    and purchase fine merchandise,
    mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
    and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
    as many sensual perfumes as you can;
    visit many Egyptian cities,
    to learn and learn from scholars.

    Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
    To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
    But do not hurry the voyage at all.
    It is better to let it last for many years;
    and to anchor at the island when you are old,
    rich with all you have gained on the way,
    not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

    Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
    Without her you would have never set out on the road.
    She has nothing more to give you.

    And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
    Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
    you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

    Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)


    Nikos Kavvadias- A knife (not quite his best but vastly known)
    Spoiler
    Show
    I always carry tightly under my belt
    a small african steel dagger
    -- like those that blacks are used to playing with --
    that I bought from an old merchant in Algiers.

    I remember, as if it were now, the old shopkeeper,
    who looked like an old oil painting by Goya,
    standing next to long swords and tattered uniforms,
    saying in a hoarse voice the following words :

    "This here dagger that you want to buy
    legend has surrounded with eery stories,
    and everyone knows that those who owned it at some time,
    each has murdered one close to him.

    Don Basilio murdered Donna Julia with it,
    his beautiful wife, because she was unfaithful.
    Conte Antonio, one night, his wretched brother
    was slyly murdering with this here dagger.

    A black his young lover out of jealousy
    and some Italian sailor a Greek boatswain.
    From hand to hand it passed and into mine.
    Many things my eyes have seen, but this one makes me quiver.

    Come close and look at it, it has an anchor and a crest,
    it's light, why take it, it's not even a quarter,
    but I would advise you to buy something else."
    -- How much? -- Seven francs only. As long as you want it, take it.

    A small dagger I have tightly in my belt,
    that a whim made me make it my own;
    and because I hate no one in the world to kill,
    I am afraid lest some day I turn it against myself ...


    Katerina Gogou- Some times
    Spoiler
    Show
    “Some times the door opens slowly and you enter.
    You wear an all-white suite and linen shoes.
    You bend, you tenderly put 72 coins in my palm and you leave.
    I have stayed in the same position where you left me, so that you can find me again.
    But a long time must have passed because my nails
    Have grown long and my friends are scared of me.
    Every day I cook potatoes.
    I have lost my imagination.
    And when I hear ‘Katerina’ I am scared
    I think I have to denounce someone.
    I have kept some newspaper clippings about a man they claimed was you.
    I know the papers lie, because they say they shot you at the feet.
    I know they never aim at the feet.
    The mind is their target.
    Hold it together, eh?”
    Divinely masterful avatar by Ceika. The Four Voices of Esto.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakmakallan View Post
    Kudos for chaingun-pace responses; I am out for a day and have half a dozen of people to answer to (yes the syntax could be different to avoid the preposition at the end of the sentence, shut up imaginary philological troll).

    Anyhow, in general I can both understand the reasons to hold competitions and -in some cases- the logic behind the criticism and decisions, still I could never agree in a comparison of quality beyond a simple conundrum of taste. Thus, should a critic incorporate elements of proper and "scientific" literary analysis, they can't really deem quality. On the other hand, if they rely solely on personal opinion, then no actual benefit can be derived from their word.

    While the use of prompts and time limits in retrospect appear interesting, the notion of creating art with the thought of the maximum universal appeal possible seems absurd. First of all, for lack of equality in the skills of lack appreciation and familiarity background. Furthermore, because an artist, more so a poet, functions as a voice of their era, constituting an alternate interpretation -in lieu of science for example- of reality (this would even be applicable for fantasy and science-fiction as brainchilds of this time of faceless machinery and desperate escapism).

    All in all, I am not really opposed to the idea of this poetry contest, however I feel the structure could be changed, even in deviation from the "Iron Chef" of its namesake. My suggestion would be keeping the number of contestants open, the prompt and time limits remaining unchanged, but all participants are given the same prompt and are solely subjected to constructive criticism of their work, or for the sake of competition, score being kept on a 1-10 scale instead of the current single elimination.

    As for the suggestions to participate, I have been writing myself, though I do not feel confident enough to share with the playground at the moment. Also, I am currently in the middle of moving from Greece to the Netherlands for my phd, and barely have time to keep track of my pbp campaigns, let alone concentrate on writing. However, I would be glad to be a judge in the next competition, whenever that might occur.

    I leave you with 4 poems from some of my favorite greek poets. In posted order: Giorgos Seferis (Literature Nobel prize laureate, a beloved of analysts and readers alike, though amid the latter popularity has waned over the last decades, I believe), Konstantinos Kavafis aka Constantine Cavafy (regarded as one of the greatest in modern greek literature), Nikos Kavvadias (sailor and poet, not as highly acclaimed but a great storyteller and raconteur nonetheless) and Katerina Gogou (anarchist, contemporary poet, greatly ignored by the eldest, immensely praised in politically-savvy circles). Notice the fluctuation of critique depending on the crowd and their backgrounds?
    [Poems have been pulled from various sources on the internet and the translations might not be perfect]

    Giorgos Seferis- Our Sun
    Spoiler
    Show
    This sun was mine and yours; we shared it.

    Who's suffering behind the golden silk, who's dying?

    A woman beating her dry breasts cried out; `Cowards,

    they've taken my children and torn them to shreds, you've

    killed them

    gazing at the fire-flies at dusk with a strange look,

    lost in blind thought.'

    The blood was drying on a hand that a tree made green,

    a warrior was asleep clutching the lance that cast light

    against his side.

    It was ours, this sun, we saw nothing behind the gold

    embroidery

    then the messengers came, dirty and breathless,

    stuttering unintelligible words

    twenty days and nights on the barren earth with thorns only

    twenty days and nights feeling the bellies of the horses

    bleering

    and not a moment's break to drink rain-water.

    You told them to rest first and then to speak, the light had

    dazzled you.

    They died saying `We don't have time', touching some rays

    of the sun.

    You'd forgotten that no one rests.

    A woman howled `Cowards'. like a dog in the night.

    Once she would have been beautiful like you

    with the wet mouth, veins alive beneath the skin,

    with love.

    This sun is ours; you kept all of it, you wouldn't follow

    me.

    And it was then I found about those things behind the

    gold and the silk:

    we don't have time. The messengers were right


    Konstantinos Kavafis- Ithaca
    Spoiler
    Show
    When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
    pray that the road is long,
    full of adventure, full of knowledge.
    The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
    the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
    You will never find such as these on your path,
    if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
    emotion touches your spirit and your body.
    The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
    the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
    if you do not carry them within your soul,
    if your soul does not set them up before you.

    Pray that the road is long.
    That the summer mornings are many, when,
    with such pleasure, with such joy
    you will enter ports seen for the first time;
    stop at Phoenician markets,
    and purchase fine merchandise,
    mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
    and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
    as many sensual perfumes as you can;
    visit many Egyptian cities,
    to learn and learn from scholars.

    Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
    To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
    But do not hurry the voyage at all.
    It is better to let it last for many years;
    and to anchor at the island when you are old,
    rich with all you have gained on the way,
    not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

    Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
    Without her you would have never set out on the road.
    She has nothing more to give you.

    And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
    Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
    you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

    Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)


    Nikos Kavvadias- A knife (not quite his best but vastly known)
    Spoiler
    Show
    I always carry tightly under my belt
    a small african steel dagger
    -- like those that blacks are used to playing with --
    that I bought from an old merchant in Algiers.

    I remember, as if it were now, the old shopkeeper,
    who looked like an old oil painting by Goya,
    standing next to long swords and tattered uniforms,
    saying in a hoarse voice the following words :

    "This here dagger that you want to buy
    legend has surrounded with eery stories,
    and everyone knows that those who owned it at some time,
    each has murdered one close to him.

    Don Basilio murdered Donna Julia with it,
    his beautiful wife, because she was unfaithful.
    Conte Antonio, one night, his wretched brother
    was slyly murdering with this here dagger.

    A black his young lover out of jealousy
    and some Italian sailor a Greek boatswain.
    From hand to hand it passed and into mine.
    Many things my eyes have seen, but this one makes me quiver.

    Come close and look at it, it has an anchor and a crest,
    it's light, why take it, it's not even a quarter,
    but I would advise you to buy something else."
    -- How much? -- Seven francs only. As long as you want it, take it.

    A small dagger I have tightly in my belt,
    that a whim made me make it my own;
    and because I hate no one in the world to kill,
    I am afraid lest some day I turn it against myself ...


    Katerina Gogou- Some times
    Spoiler
    Show
    “Some times the door opens slowly and you enter.
    You wear an all-white suite and linen shoes.
    You bend, you tenderly put 72 coins in my palm and you leave.
    I have stayed in the same position where you left me, so that you can find me again.
    But a long time must have passed because my nails
    Have grown long and my friends are scared of me.
    Every day I cook potatoes.
    I have lost my imagination.
    And when I hear ‘Katerina’ I am scared
    I think I have to denounce someone.
    I have kept some newspaper clippings about a man they claimed was you.
    I know the papers lie, because they say they shot you at the feet.
    I know they never aim at the feet.
    The mind is their target.
    Hold it together, eh?”
    Have you looked through the previous competitions? Because I've been following it for the past 4 or 5 (finally got up the courage to participate last round) and it seems that the judges do a good job at making fair critiques of poems. Yes their personal opinions come into it some, but the final result is that a great poem and poet is chosen as best and the contest starts over again. I see nothing so wrong with this system that we need to drastically change it for any reason.

    It seems like you're saying that literary critiques can never be valid, because they are opinions. That just seems a bit out there to me. Yes, poetry serves as an alternative way to view the world to say science (have you read any Heidegger by the way? That's a very Heideggerian statement), but that doesn't mean people cant be critiqued on their use of themes, poetic structure, effectiveness of conveying their message and many other areas. Just because something is not an objective judgement doesn't mean it's arbitrary and useless.

    Also I have a couple of questions about your response, there are a few sentences that are entirely incomprehensible to me and if clarified I might get a better idea ofyour argument. Firstly your last sentence mentions critiques, and I don't really see any. Secondly what do you mean by this sentence "First of all, for lack of equality in the skills of lack appreciation and familiarity background", I can't make heads nor tails of it.
    At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman, and these hills, the softness of the sky, the outline of the trees at this very minute lose the illusory meaning with which we clothed them, henceforth more remote than a lost paradise.
    -Camus, An Absurd Reasoning


    Fourth Doctor avatar courtesy of Szilard

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    @Rakmakallan:
    While you're, of course, entitled to your opinion on the matter, you've got several poets here telling you how useful these contests have been for them and for their writing. Which only means just that, the contest was useful for them. I'm sure there are plenty of other writers for whom such a thing would not be helpful. And while there are, of course, effectively infinite ways to structure it, the head-to-head brackets have worked best thus far (one such foray into alternate methods was a disaster).

    Is a critique a scientific analysis? Of course not. But then, really, welcome to art. Of course it's all opinion. If these things had rules, we'd have figured them out long ago and we wouldn't even need contests or critiques. No one ever has to discuss the best answer to 2 + 2. At the same time, as someone else said, objective doesn't mean arbitrary. It may be my opinion that Stephanie Meyer (of Twilight fame) is a better writer than Goethe, or Shakespeare (or even Stoker) but does that make it so?

    You mentioned that you write, which is good. But have you ever been to a writer's club meeting? A round-table or a workshop of any kind? Opinions are opinions and are of varying use. Sometimes you take the advice, sometimes you don't, sometimes you accept the opinion, sometimes you don't. At the end of the day, the poem is yours and you get final say. But at the same time, as the writer you often have the worst perspective on your own work. There's no clear dividing line. If there were, all of this would be much easier.

    It doesn't surprise me to learn you're getting your PhD. You sound like an academic. Studying literature is a comparatively clean business. We can all dicker over whether Pound or Eliot was the greater man, but we all know they're both great, so it's like a gentleman's bet where nothing is at stake but your tenure track. Writing literature, by comparison, is a messy business, where nothing is certain and anything you think you know is probably wrong. There isn't even a definition of success, let alone a metric by which it can be measured.

    If you don't have time to play with us, that's cool. But hang around for a while. Read the entries and the critiques. Lay down some critiques yourself, if you like, the more feedback the better. I guarantee you'll learn enough to make it worth your while.
    Last edited by truemane; 2011-12-31 at 01:10 PM.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    ...the notion of creating art with the thought of the maximum universal appeal possible seems absurd.
    Here I completely agree. It works essentially at cross-purposes with the very notion of art.

    First of all, for lack of equality in the skills of lack appreciation and familiarity background. Furthermore, because an artist, more so a poet, functions as a voice of their era, constituting an alternate interpretation -in lieu of science for example-
    This is an opinion I simply cannot fathom. Art and science absolutely do not work at cross-purposes, nor does art constitute an "alternate interpretation" of the world.

    ...all participants...are solely subjected to constructive criticism of their work, or for the sake of competition, score being kept on a 1-10 scale instead of the current single elimination.
    I'm sorry, but the idea of giving only positive feedback is utterly absurd – as is the assertion that there can be no response to a poem other than "liking" or "disliking" it. Without criticism there can be no growth. If no one ever received anything but positive feedback on their writing, no one could ever become a better writer. Criticism, even if we disagree with it, forces us to think about our writing and our ideas.

    As for the idea of a 1-10 scale, I see little benefit in that kind of simplification. It lends itself naturally to a rubric scale, and rubrics are useless in judging writing.

    As for the suggestions to participate, I have been writing myself, though I do not feel confident enough to share with the playground at the moment.
    Come and share: you have nothing to lose.

    Quote Originally Posted by nimdyd View Post
    It doesn't surprise me to learn you're getting your PhD. You sound like an academic. Studying literature is a comparatively clean business.
    Well, maybe that's not quite fair to say. Academia and art are really inextricably linked, and very far from exclusive — great poets and writers are quite often academics. And literary study is plenty messy on its own.

    It was Pound who was better, by the by.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2012-01-01 at 03:53 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Iron Poet XV

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfin View Post
    Well, maybe that's not quite fair to say. Academia and art are really inextricably linked, and very far from exclusive — great poets and writers are quite often academics. And literary study is plenty messy on its own.

    It was Pound who was better, by the by.
    Course they are. I'm an academic myself. And while literary study might be messy, I maintain it's not as messy as actually writing the stuff in the first place.

    And maybe Pound was the greater thinker (maybe) but Eliot was the greater writer. By far. So there.
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