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/lit/ - Literature

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What are your thoughts on this poem, /lit/?

The ribs and terrors in the whale by Herman Melville

Yesterday's poem >>20784525
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>Novelist, short story writer, and poet Herman Melville (1819 – 1891) is best known for his novels of the sea, especially Moby-Dick and Billy Budd. Though his poetry is read less frequently, critics argue that it too is historically significant, thematically complex, and highly crafted. Stanton Garner, author of The Civil War World of Herman Melville, described Melville as “the third participant in the mid- 19th-century American poetic revolution,” along with Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. In fact, Melville spent the last decades of his life writing poetry. His published collections include Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), an intimate and highly personal response to the Civil War, and the allegorical epic Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876).
>Early critics were not sympathetic. Henry Chapin, in his introduction to John Marr and Other Poems (1922), one of the earlier selections of Melville's poetry, said Melville's verse is "of an amateurish and uneven quality" but in it "that loveable freshness of personality, which his philosophical dejection never quenched, is everywhere in evidence," in "the voice of a true poet". The poet and novelist Robert Penn Warren became a champion of Melville as a great American poet and issued a selection of Melville's poetry in 1971 prefaced by an admiring critical essay. In the 1990s critic Lawrence Buell argued that Melville "is justly said to be nineteenth-century America's leading poet after Whitman and Dickinson." and Helen Vendler remarked of Clarel: "What it cost Melville to write this poem makes us pause, reading it. Alone, it is enough to win him, as a poet, what he called 'the belated funeral flower of fame'." Some critics now place him as the first modernist poet in the United States while others assert that his work more strongly suggests what today would be a postmodern view.
The split between Melville's poetry and prose is always so interesting to me. In novels he shines but this poem is pretty meh and cliched compared to his best paragraphs
It has sincerity of tone but sincerity alone does not a poem make.

Yeah, a number of fine prose writers have turned out some spectacularly mediocre poetry. Sometimes it's just an early phase, a part of their general wordsmithing apprenticeship (Faulkner, Joyce). Sometimes it's flippant, smart-aleck stuff (Nabokov, Clive James). Sometimes it's decently-crafted but poetically uninspired (Samuel Johnson).

Writers who were equally at home in both forms are few and far between. Kipling is one name that comes to mind. On a grubbier level, Charles Bukowski, maybe. (His "poems" are pretty close to prose, though.)
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I liked the original better
he has some nice ones

About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim,
How alert in attendance be.
From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw
They have nothing of harm to dread,
But liquidly glide on his ghastly flank
Or before his Gorgonian head;
Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth
In white triple tiers of glittering gates,
And there find a haven when peril’s abroad,
An asylum in jaws of the Fates!
They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey,
Yet never partake of the treat—
Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull,
Pale ravener of horrible meat.
That's weirdly hopeful and religious for Melville
t. only read his prose
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If you find this poetry in any way profound..then I guess you can only go up from there. Or maybe im jealous, that my tastes evolved so rapidly, that i havent saviored the moment, when works like in pic related still had any impact..
What are your favorite poems?
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Nobodys opinion, will take or give anything from the classical poets, mine especially . But ill highlight few of which i read (skipping the worldknown like Faust, Divine Comedy, Shakespeare etc,. obviously) that came to mind

"Cloud in pants" and "About that" Mayakovsky
"Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" Byron (which was picrel in post u replied to)
"Onegin" Pushkin (or anything by him)
"Dr Zhivagos poems at the end of Dr Zhivago" Pasternak simply, gave his best poetry to a character, in only novel he ever wrote
Anything early to mid Esenin, before he drowned his talent at the bottom of the bottle.
"Poem without a hero" Akhmatova
Anything by Lermontov aka the nihilist who remained in history as the anti-thesis to life loving, nihilism avoiding, fluffy Pushkin.
Currently im reading "Jerusalem Delivered" by Tasso

Half of them are short and you can come back in few hours, to share an inspiration or underwhelming(?) you got from them. Or ask for further recs, rumors, stories, behind the scenes, the metaphors aka treat this like poetry general from now on.
You’ve clearly not read his poetry in depth plus this was literally from Moby Dick


Which one are you
And it sucked in Moby Dick too. Cliches like dismal gloom, maw of hell, endless pains and sorrows, plunging to despair, black distress, joyful hour... If you want Melville's prose style translated into poetry, Hart Crane is way closer than Melville himself.
This sucks. Sorry, Melville
Hart Crane is bad and you have no taste. Do not try and infect me with it.
Sounds like you got filtered lol. This poem is more Melville than the above:

At Melville’s Tomb

Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge
The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath
An embassy. Their numbers as he watched,
Beat on the dusty shore and were obscured.

And wrecks passed without sound of bells,
The calyx of death’s bounty giving back
A scattered chapter, livid hieroglyph,
The portent wound in corridors of shells.

Then in the circuit calm of one vast coil,
Its lashings charmed and malice reconciled,
Frosted eyes there were that lifted altars;
And silent answers crept across the stars.

Compass, quadrant and sextant contrive
No farther tides ... High in the azure steeps
Monody shall not wake the mariner.
This fabulous shadow only the sea keeps.
Ah, Herman Melville..a one hit wonder for boys between the ages of 15-20 who just started reading literature. Also a barely repressed homosexual
I have read this poem, yes it is very famous. Not really, Melville's prose is philosophical and mostly influenced by Bulwer Lytton, Browne, and Hawthorne, and his poetry has clear meter with awkward rhymes that create a nice effect. The methodology is the same, except Melville is writing in the history of ornate prose vs poetry. Considering, he did not even properly dedicate himself to poetry at that point, you'd expect it to be inferior to his later poems.

Found a family, build a state,
The pledged event is still the same:
Matter in end will never abate
His ancient brutal claim.

* * * *

Indolence is heaven’s ally here,
And energy the child of hell:
The Good Man pouring from his pitcher clear
But brims the poisoned well.
The limit of looking at mere influence is clearly, in terms of rhythm, metaphor, force, the following passage looks more like that Crane poem than either the poem posted above or the poem you just posted:

"But as the last whelmings intermixingly poured themselves over the sunken head of the Indian at the mainmast, leaving a few inches of the erect spar yet visible, together with long streaming yards of the flag, which calmly undulated, with ironical coincidings, over the destroying billows they almost touched;- at that instant, a red arm and a hammer hovered backwardly uplifted in the open air, in the act of nailing the flag faster and yet faster to the subsiding spar. A sky-hawk that tauntingly had followed the main-truck downwards from its natural home among the stars, pecking at the flag, and incommoding Tashtego there; this bird now chanced to intercept its broad fluttering wing between the hammer and the wood; and simultaneously feeling that etherial thrill, the submerged savage beneath, in his death-gasp, kept his hammer frozen there; and so the bird of heaven, with archangelic shrieks, and his imperial beak thrust upwards, and his whole captive form folded in the flag of Ahab, went down with his ship, which, like Satan, would not sink to hell till she had dragged a living part of heaven along with her, and helmeted herself with it.

Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf; a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

By similar 'methodology' you seem to mean being completely different except following some vague notion of ornateness shared between two utterly different traditions in two different mediums.
You've only read Moby Dick and have not studied a single poet in depth, stop boring me you are not worth anyone's time.
What does it mean?
given that it's Melville, probably "Hawthorne pls ream my boipucci" or "Hawthorne doesn't want to ream my boipucci this is so sad", depending on when it was written

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