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Poetry = Literature

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Persephone
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Today in class we talked about Matthew Arnold's ideas regarding poetry. I myself found some of his ideas absolute bologna (i.e. that poetry can surpass science, religion, and philosophy), but I should mention that I read this thinking of poetry as I think a lot of us think of it, like poems. After Mr. Chisnell had mentioned that poetry was more or less all encompassing of literature, it totally threw me for a loop. I'd like to know your thoughts on not only Arnolds ideas, but if you think the term poetry is synonymous with literature.


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MangoMan
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I found that his ideals could sounds pretty odd and not something most of us would see to be "normal" but heck, what's really normal in literature.  I found that there can be a lot of interpretations of normal in literature.  I think Arnold's views and points where all about deeper meaning and perspective.

would anyone agree?


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savhoisington
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I have been thinking about poetry and literature's relationship for the past few days; is poetry "all encompassing of literature" as you stated @persephone ? The google definition of poetry: literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature. But I think that this is a modern take on what it means to be poetry. From reading on the views of Matthew Arnold, I gathered that it seems like he thought that "geneious" poetry is a clear and intentional use of action, expression, and emotion; which could technically be any form of literature. So, to be completely honest I think that it depends on the position you are in whether you determine all of literature poetry or not.


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aplitstudent123
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@savhoisington I agree. I think if we go by Arnold's interpretation of poetry, his views are easier to understand. He refers to poetry as if it is the same as good literature. Now that I understand this is what he means by poetry, I suppose I can agree more so with him when he argues that poetry is superior to science, religion, and philosophy. However, even if he is referring to good literature, I still do not believe that literature is superior to these. I think they are all equal and that as humans we benefit, grow, and learn from the interconnectedness of these fields.


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savhoisington
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@mangoman I agree that Arnold focused on the deeper meaning of literature. Something that interested me was the 5 listed things that Arnold believes made Shakespeare's works so geneious. After reading all of these things, I summarized it into a common solution/ theme (I stated it in my previous post) that a clear and intentional use of action, expression, and emotion is the ticket to brilliant literary work. I think this is interesting, especially when considering the "clear and intentional" aspect. Arnold stated that being vague is ineffective and should be avoided. But, sometimes I think it is a clever/ important aspect of poetry to leave some things up for thought for the reader, so I don't think i necessarily agree. 

Does anyone else agree or disagree with this part of Arnold’s theories?


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I found his idea that poetry could replace science very interesting. I thought his implication that writing contains information that science can't convey very compelling. I think that what Arnold meant by that was that science can't necessarily explain emotional or moral truths to the same degree that writing can. Writing can allow you to convey your ideas, opinions, and emotions in a way that science almost tries to discourage. However, I think that writing and poetry should be used alongside science, as opposed to replacing science. Science and writing/poetry can complement each other, one providing concrete and objective answers about our surroundings, and the other provides ambiguous and thought provoking questions that can help us find answers about ourselves.


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savhoisington
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@aplitstudent123 I think this is a really good perspective you brought up. I am having a hard time grasping exactly what Arnold meant when saying poetry was superior to philosophy and science/ why he thought that way, and because of this I have a hard time taking a stance. But I think that your point of each aspect being most beneficial when interconnected is very accurate. I think that these are three things that hold so much power over us as humans because they control so many aspects of our lives, so I think when all in harmony that is when we as a society are at our best. 


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TheBoulder
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@leinweber I support your idea that literature is not to be used to replace science or philosophy, but to work together with it. I agreed with many of Arnold's opinions, but also felt heavy doubts when it was said he believed poetry/literature to be the highest form of human expression or advancement. I believe that no person can fully know exactly what is right, but I do think it is very important and valuable. Science and literature are much more impactful when used together, it is important to know from literature where to go and when to stop, and science allows us to access that information.

On a different note, I also noticed that Arnold didn't have much appreciation for artistic accessories, which I thought was interesting. While poems that cut to chase are informative and still important, I always enjoy poems more when they allow me to imagine. I think the artistic aspect of literature, not just the ethical as Arnold believes, is very important when understanding what is and isn't literature. What are some of your thoughts on the artistic vs. ethical nature of poetry?


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Delphine
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@aplitstudent123 I completely agree. We should not be comparing art and science forms to each other, as they are all unique and important in their own ways. Without each of these different things, our society would lack so much important knowledge and enrichment that defines it today. I believe that literature and poetry are simply not comparable, as they are both art forms that hold a different purpose.


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Conster
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@persephone

I feel that the general populace regards poems as a form of writing that is purely emotional and in turn to be taken without any seriousness. As we have discussed, this is simply not the case. As much as people try to disregard poems as almost nonsensical, there have been countless poems that have greatly contributed to literature as a whole. As much as I feel that poetry is synonymous with literature, I believe that the average person would not find it to be so. As much as literature is expressed through traditional writings, there are many other forms in which literature may be demonstrated


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Carla Tortelli
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Poems are seen as something emotional not so much fact. It's like we've created that stereotype for poetry, its for softies and it should't be serious. Thats not everyones veils but it is a big thought in our society.Arnold brings up the fact that poetry can in someways go above and in capture both science and philosophy. He places much authority in poetry. His standards of seriousness or what it takes to become a classic can be debated on. He feels as though leaving the meaning to the audiences interpretation isn't great. I believe poetry can be very factual even if you see it from a personal point of view. The many interpretations are what allow for more thought, thus bringing on more questions and ideas. So when he says that docent make sense I would really agree in that sense. Though I see that when you maybe just want a direct meaning it can get confusing when the author allows room for thought. Poetry is an art but can also be very informative.


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a2m0e0m2
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@mangoman I agree, I feel like you really have to analyze or read in to his words to truly understand it where if you were to just read it quickly it would just pass over your mind as a joke. I find it interesting but challenging at the same time, and enjoyed that it added a little bit of a challenge instead of a straightforward reading. With how he phrased everything I think it could easily make literature fit into poetry. 


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Madams43
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Poetry isn't the easiest to dissect and analyze without practice, but it's a form of literature that demands to be dissected and analyzed. At least, in my opinion, that's the whole point of a poem. We're meant to read it and be confused at first, that way we can go over it again and try to work out what the author is really trying to say. 


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octavia
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i've always thought of poetry as simply a form of literature. Google says that literature is just any written work with literary merit - not much help. As I dug in deeper, I saw that when determining literary merit, it is said that the piece has to have a theme that elicits good discussion and I think poetry does a great job as that. Often in poetry we have to analyze and really think about what it's saying - the message isn't clearly there. So, I'd say that it is a form of literature. 


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Persephone
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@octavia Thats a good point actually, I had connected the word "literature" to books so often I hadn't even read the definition of the word lol. The idea of having to dig a little deeper in order to find the meaning of a poem I find to be quite interesting actually, and since posting the original post, I think I've decided that I agree that poetry is absolutely literature and absolutely holds literary merit.


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