#1 Edited by LtColJaxson (1137 posts) -

I've always enjoyed Robert Frost, and for a recent film project I wanted to base my short film around a poem. I picked his rather famous poem (though perhaps not among certain generations), called 'The Road Not Taken.' It is loosely based around my interpretation of the various paths that life may lead us in, and the outcomes that stem from our decisions. Though the video is rather grim, I felt the poem had a neutral attitude (not optimistic nor pessimistic) so in terms setting a mood I chose the direction of the story. Anyway, I'd like to share the video for the GB community (being rather video oriented itself) and see what you guys think. Watch in HD.

Also, I have noticed that poetry in terms of popularity is certainly dying - so in the midst of this I'd like if the GB community could either share their own poems or suggest some authors and poems they like. I like to see how people are able to articulate their feelings/ideas using poetic devices and knowing the GB community is spread around various parts of the world - it'd be interesting to see some contrasts. Hopefully you guys enjoy the video, and feel free to ask any questions and hopefully share some of your writing/art.

#2 Posted by Patman99 (1573 posts) -

Robert Frost and Robert Service are two of my favourite poets. Really good stuff!

#3 Posted by Brewmaster_Andy (520 posts) -

I am an English teacher. I HATE ROBERT FROST.

Man, that felt good.

Good video, though!

#4 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Brewmaster_Andy said:

I am an English teacher. I HATE ROBERT FROST.

Man, that felt good.

Awesome. Care to elaborate?

#5 Posted by Brewmaster_Andy (520 posts) -

@Ravenlight: I've never been a fan of his particular aesthetic, in much the same way I don't get into any of the transcendentalists - nature this, simplicity that, etc. I don't really think he explores any of the emotionally resonant issues that he could in some of his poems, and I think he keeps things too barren. Take a poem like "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" - you have this simple poem that has the potential for emotional impact, but he doesn't explore the last stanza in enough detail to make any of that emotional potential click with the reader. Some people argue that the narrator dies of hypothermia in the last stanza, but I think that's just a cop-out for lack of true emotional exploration. Simple ideas only lend themselves to interesting poetry (for me) when they are resonant ideas. "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden is a good example of a simple idea transformed into an emotionally resonant piece. That particular poem is similar in tone to "Stopping by Woods" in the emphasis on the cold, but Hayden does something with that frozen imagery. Frost does not.

Poetry is so subjective, but I just don't like Frost.

#6 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Brewmaster_Andy:

Oh, I guess a well-reasoned position is okay, too.

I had thought you might have been of the opinion that nothing good ever comes out of New Hampshire :P

#7 Edited by LtColJaxson (1137 posts) -

@Brewmaster_Andy said:

@Ravenlight: I've never been a fan of his particular aesthetic, in much the same way I don't get into any of the transcendentalists - nature this, simplicity that, etc. I don't really think he explores any of the emotionally resonant issues that he could in some of his poems, and I think he keeps things too barren. Take a poem like "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" - you have this simple poem that has the potential for emotional impact, but he doesn't explore the last stanza in enough detail to make any of that emotional potential click with the reader. Some people argue that the narrator dies of hypothermia in the last stanza, but I think that's just a cop-out for lack of true emotional exploration. Simple ideas only lend themselves to interesting poetry (for me) when they are resonant ideas. "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden is a good example of a simple idea transformed into an emotionally resonant piece. That particular poem is similar in tone to "Stopping by Woods" in the emphasis on the cold, but Hayden does something with that frozen imagery. Frost does not.

Poetry is so subjective, but I just don't like Frost.

Thanks for watching my video. I appreciate that you are able to justify your opinion on Robert Frost, and I can agree that sometimes an idea can be lost in abstraction. I certainly see that as an issue with several poets, whose lack of detail in certain areas of their poems creates several different ideological standpoints from readers. When the author's ideology fails to come across to the reader, it can create a sort of disconnect and loss of purpose to around why it was actually written. I felt that even with 'The Road Not Taken,' there is a lack of imagery that allowed me to fill in those gaps when I created this video. I however, enjoy many of his poems - and as an English teacher yourself - I think it is still important to recognize Frost's contributions (even though you don't necessarily like the poems).

Also, the Hayden poem you provided is great!

#8 Posted by Brewmaster_Andy (520 posts) -

@LtColJaxson: Oh don't get me wrong, he has contributed to American poetry, through exposure alone, a great deal. I just don't like him :)

#9 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

I like poetry quite a bit, and I enjoy most of Frost's work that I've read. My personal favourite poet is TS Eliot, though.

#10 Posted by Irvandus (2875 posts) -

I go on poetry feasts once or twice a year.

#11 Posted by sopranosfan (1935 posts) -

I don't like a lot of poetry and I hate some of this modern poetry i.e. that idiotic poem read at Obama's inauguration because it didn't rhyme, it didn't seem to have a natural flow, and most importantly it didn't even make sense. I do however love Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Day."

#12 Posted by Arbie (1449 posts) -

That's awesome. =]

@sopranosfan said:

I do however love Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Day."

I agree. I think that's my favourite poem!

#13 Posted by Butler (384 posts) -

Poetry Fuck Yeah!

Yeats

Keats

Bukowski

Baudelaire

Poe

Go and enjoy.

#14 Posted by coakroach (2490 posts) -

Damn I havent read good poetry since I finished IB English

Thanks duders

#15 Posted by mikey87144 (1719 posts) -

@Brewmaster_Andy: That poem is actually on of my favorite pieces of literature I've ever read. I never looked into other peoples interpretations but I've always thought it to be a pretty obvious allegory for life. The journey is life, him stopping is life's major and minor distractions or better yet youth, the horse even was society at large urging him to stay on his path for the sake of his family and friends and his destination death. Taken literally it tells a sort of nothing story but it's not meant to be taking literally, at least to me anyway.

#16 Edited by Brewmaster_Andy (520 posts) -

@mikey87144: I really disagree with a lot of the allegorical connotations of that particular poem. I don't think that "Stopping by Woods" presents any sort of well-developed ideas, save for that very last stanza. Even then, I think there are much better examples of emotional resonance in some of Frost's poems. I still think he is way, way too minimalist, but he can approach real human emotion. He starts to do it in "Stopping by Woods," but there's no punch. Even Frost admitted that he composed it in "just a few minutes." I think it shows. Really the only poem of Frost's that I enjoy is "Out, Out". That poem has a great story and is very resonant. I use that poem with the novel The Things They Carried as a way to illustrate soldiers' reactions to death and how business-like they become.

Poetry is tough to recommend because it is SO subjective. That's one of the reasons I hate teaching poetry on its own. I always try to connect poems with other works of literature on a thematic or dramatic level, using it as a tool rather than the object of study. That said, here are a few of my favorites:

"Unknown Girl in the Maternity Ward" by Anne Sexton - absolutely one of my fucking favorite poems. Chilling. Here is a video of this poem being recited by senior Amanda Fernandez in the Poetry Out Loud competition a few years ago. Incredible recitation of a phenomenal poem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE7e_xty4kw

"Facing It" by Yusef Komunyakaa

"Forgetfulness" by Billy Collins

"Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley - one of the only "classic" poems I truly enjoy teaching on its own

"Piano" by D.H. Lawrence

#17 Posted by SarjuTheRapper (279 posts) -

@LtColJaxson said:

Also, I have noticed that poetry in terms of popularity is certainly dying

define poetry

#18 Posted by TheVeteran13 (1202 posts) -

Fuck no

#19 Posted by thedj93 (1237 posts) -

@TheVeteran13 said:

Fuck no

you no likey poetry?

#20 Posted by BrockNRolla (1702 posts) -

Poetry dying? That statement has been true for the past 80 years. Yet it still exists. Art forms do not die, they only wax and wane as times and technology change. As long as there is writing, there will always be poetry.

#21 Edited by habster3 (3595 posts) -

I hate to look like the ignorant one, but I must admit that most poetry doesn't do it for me (except Edgar Allan Poe).

I guess I'm more of a lyrics kind of guy. Sure, it's kind of a similar concept, but I probably just prefer lyrics because... well, good lyrics compliment a great song so perfectly. Sorry, I'm kind of biased because I'm a big music fan.

#22 Posted by Gooddoggy (410 posts) -

I do enjoy poetry, but I've always been a bit embarrassed that my taste in it seems rather typically bourgeois. Kipling, Banjo Patterson, Yeats...I love "Our Eunuch Dreams" by Dylan Thomas and Owen's "Dulce et Decorum est."

#23 Posted by ninjalegend (425 posts) -

I'm not really a fan of poetry per say, but there are examples that I feel resonate enough for me to give a sh*t. Here is an old Australian one that I think is quite clever. For me, it puts the "why not" in the "why do I bother".

Knocked Up by Henry Lawson

I'm lyin' on the barren ground that's baked and cracked with drought,

And dunno if my legs or back or heart is most wore out;

I've got no spirits left to rise and smooth me achin' brow --

I'm too knocked up to light a fire and bile the billy now.

Oh it's trampin', trampin', tra-a-mpin', in flies an' dust an' heat,

Or it's trampin' trampin' tra-a-a-mpin'

through mud and slush 'n sleet;

It's tramp an' tramp for tucker -- one everlastin' strife,

An' wearin' out yer boots an' heart in the wastin' of yer life.

They whine o' lost an' wasted lives in idleness and crime --

I've wasted mine for twenty years, and grafted all the time

And never drunk the stuff I earned, nor gambled when I shore --

But somehow when yer on the track yer life seems wasted more.

A long dry stretch of thirty miles I've tramped this broilin' day,

All for the off-chance of a job a hundred miles away;

There's twenty hungry beggars wild for any job this year,

An' fifty might be at the shed while I am lyin' here.

The sinews in my legs seem drawn, red-hot -- 'n that's the truth;

I seem to weigh a ton, and ache like one tremendous tooth;

I'm stung between my shoulder-blades -- my blessed back seems broke;

I'm too knocked out to eat a bite -- I'm too knocked up to smoke.

The blessed rain is comin' too -- there's oceans in the sky,

An' I suppose I must get up and rig the blessed fly;

The heat is bad, the water's bad, the flies a crimson curse,

The grub is bad, mosquitoes damned -- but rheumatism's worse.

I wonder why poor blokes like me will stick so fast ter breath,

Though Shakespeare says it is the fear of somethin' after death;

But though Eternity be cursed with God's almighty curse --

What ever that same somethin' is I swear it can't be worse.

For it's trampin', trampin', tra-a-mpin' thro' hell across the plain,

And it's trampin' trampin' tra-a-mpin' thro' slush 'n mud 'n rain --

A livin' worse than any dog -- without a home 'n wife,

A-wearin' out yer heart 'n soul in the wastin' of yer life.

#24 Posted by LtColJaxson (1137 posts) -

@BrockNRolla said:

Poetry dying? That statement has been true for the past 80 years. Yet it still exists. Art forms do not die, they only wax and wane as times and technology change. As long as there is writing, there will always be poetry.

I think you guys are taking this a bit further than I meant - let's just say it's not what it once was. There is less interest in poetry especially among newer generations (even reading books is declining). I would never expect it to disappear.

#25 Posted by Tireyo (6409 posts) -

Yeah I like poetry. Thing is, I got to be in the mood for it.

#26 Posted by BBQBram (2212 posts) -

@TheVeteran13 said:

Fuck no

Such a defiant stand against the intellectual oppression! Of course, poems do contain emotions and thus are pretty, ehm, gay, right?

#27 Posted by TheVeteran13 (1202 posts) -

@BBQBram: That's the thing, I've never read a poem that made me feel anything like a good book, movie or song can. It's most likely because of all the bad poetry I had to read in school.

#28 Posted by James_Giant_Peach (751 posts) -

I thought the phone voice was funny.

#29 Posted by Mikemcn (6968 posts) -

I like poetry, i don't read it as much as I should.

#30 Posted by BoG (5187 posts) -

Pablo Neruda was a fantastic poet. I suggest you look him up.

#31 Posted by LtColJaxson (1137 posts) -

@BoG:

Thanks, I definitely will. Just wondering if you had any thoughts on my video, as well as some of the other members who replied?