Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2011 07:53 pm
I got interested in poetry, imagery, recently, when previously I'd only been interested in prose, maintaining I 'don't get poetry'. So I bought a book of poems and started trying to read them on the way to work, really working at them, and WHAM a week later and my brain is different place, my writing seems more fluent, and I keep narrating my brain with finer, more articulate language that is just coming to me naturally. I presume that 'unlocking' this part of my brain through reading is helping the construction, so, obviously I'm going to start reading much more poetry, if only as mental exercise to help me with the writing I actually have to write, which is reviews and essays.

How does mental imagery like this 'function'? Why, in a certain sense, does an indistinct image feel more 'real' than a graphic one? Does anyone know of anything written on the subject of mental imagery.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Jan, 2011 02:14 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
Why, in a certain sense, does an indistinct image feel more 'real' than a graphic one?


I'm not up with the latest "perceptual psychology" but from a philosophical standpoint you might like to consider Wittgenstein's concept of "language games". i.e there is no one to one correspondence between "words" and "meanings" (no representation), there are only appropriate contexts of usage involving dynamic linkages. What a poet does is extend or generate such contexts such that they form an idiosyncratic "language game" in which the spectator agrees to play by the poet's suggested "rules". I am making the point that the language game rather than representation IS "communicative reality". Note also the philosophical difference between "representation" and "re-presentation"...the first is about "correspondence", the second is about "re-experiencing". (German Vorstellung versus Dastellung)

Reference to particular examples (like the structure of sonnets), or to the general field of stylistics would also be useful.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Jan, 2011 09:00 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
Why, in a certain sense, does an indistinct image feel more 'real' than a graphic one?


I'm not up with the latest "perceptual psychology" but from a philosophical standpoint you might like to consider Wittgenstein's concept of "language games". i.e there is no one to one correspondence between "words" and "meanings" (no representation), there are only appropriate contexts of usage involving dynamic linkages. What a poet does is extend or generate such contexts such that they form an idiosyncratic "language game" in which the spectator agrees to play by the poet's suggested "rules". I am making the point that the language game rather than representation IS "communicative reality". Note also the philosophical difference between "representation" and "re-presentation"...the first is about "correspondence", the second is about "re-experiencing". (German Vorstellung versus Dastellung)

Reference to particular examples (like the structure of sonnets), or to the general field of stylistics would also be useful.



Thank you. I don't quite understand all of that yet.
What are 'dynamic linkages'?
Also, I am sure how the 'language game' works- to me that suggests a separation of the semantic content from the way in which it is organised, which cannot be completely done?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 01:02 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Dynamic linkages....involvement of time dimension in "the message" by walking the spectator through metaphorical nuances. I think Dylan Thomas gives a good illustration of this. Below, the spectator is drawn back and forth between observer and observed...between idiosyncratic inner and outer.

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 01:50 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
....>
Note for example how the word "green" evokes a dynamic interplay/linkage between "nature" and "inexperience"....or the word "fuse" evokes both "controller of force" and " amalgamation".
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 09:21 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

....>
Note for example how the word "green" evokes a dynamic interplay/linkage between "nature" and "inexperience"....or the word "fuse" evokes both "controller of force" and " amalgamation".
If you want to say something then use prose; but if you wish to suggest something then use poetry... Here is the thing... There is so much terrible poetry out there that people can read without the slightest grasp of meaning that they can only paint themselves by what they see... If we were all given the same scene to describe, then there are many ways, infinite ways to skin that particular cat... But human experience is infinite too, and so little of it can really be put into words, and that part we feel essential to communicate we cannot only evoke, but to an extent, express... I think the poem you offer evokes, but in the end expresses only a confusion of images...

If I may offer a story... I began writing poetry as the only sort of fiction I could afford, since Poetry is considered to have as little value as it does generally, and not specifically, to writer, and in rare instances, to audience... In fact, I wrote because a poem was like any other fiction but with the advantage that end was so close to beginning... But,as it turned out, it was a back door into philosophy... Because I soon discovered that to write I must learn about symbols, and to an extent, master them, and see symbolically... But that got me into magic because so much of magic is sympathetic, which is to say symbolic, and there I turned to an extent into psychology, but more into anthropology since so much of our fiction is really artifact of what humanity has always been, as our anti-heroes still are, and will seem to be...

But there is a point in ancient Greece where philosophy took on the myths and poems of mankind, and sought to critique them, but judged itself rather badly in the process.... And the philosophy of that age shone a light on the present moment, since if the object of fiction is not so much entertainment as truth then the truth of anthropology should not be in conflict with that of psychology or with math or physics; and what were they??? Because it seems as though it is possible for people to live in conflict with their very nature, and to destroy themselves, and yet, to do so as bravely and boldly as any hero of olden days... Is it possible to know the truth, or to speak the truth??? When we paint with the broad brush of poetry, and evoke, can we touch all to truth at the same moment; or should we only take for granted that there is such a thing as truth, and that all we do has some relation to truth???...

Here is what I would suggest: If your object is only to express yourself better in prose, then study poetry -for the economy of thought, as if you were Van Gogh expressing a field of flowers with a few in the foreground and a blast of color in the back ground... But Poetry is also life, and there is no getting away from the psychological quality of it, that when we describe it, we are also describing ourselves in the process as mankind has always been described by the quality of our art.. If that is what I would do with my time then my subject would be grand and beautiful, and as such, not really in need of poetry to make beautiful, nor in need of the lie so often seen in poetic form.. If I would paint a picture of myself with my choice of words then it would be of a man who knows all, at least enough of all to be certain of what is going on in life who in knowing all has the sense to dwell in the highs and lows, the hills and valleys of love with the most complete and beautiful person he can find...
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 10:15 am
Hey sugar pants. I'm so turned on for you that poetry is supplying a need - and/or that a need is driving you into poetry.

MY take on mental imagery opening your head up to more precise thinking and understanding comes from an educational standpoint rather than poetical.

One of the primary ways we learn (according to Vygotsky and other premiere psychologists and education czars) is through scaffolding. It is the ability to connect new information to information we've already mastered. It sticks better.

When you experience poetry and it connects to your own images or thought processes, you've sort of mastered it. You own it and you proceed to stick more meaning and understanding on to it.

I know I should be shot for incoherence. Cough if you understood any of that.

And kisses to you and your extreme coolitude.

Also, you've fired up a previously underused part of your brain - and that sparks crazy growth. It's why they suggest to oldsters to learn a new language to improve brain function.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 04:43 pm
@Fido,
Interesting analysis !

The line I am taking here with PQ is a post-modernist one of "philosophical pragmatism" which rejects language as "representational" or " a reflection of truth". I am doing this in order to suggest a familiar linkage with PQ's musicology in which dynamic structure has more significance than representation. This is not to denigrate your perhaps more conventional approach.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 09:09 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

....>
Note for example how the word "green" evokes a dynamic interplay/linkage between "nature" and "inexperience"....or the word "fuse" evokes both "controller of force" and " amalgamation".


I feel like I get it all aprt from the use of the word 'dynamic'.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 09:24 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:

Because I soon discovered that to write I must learn about symbols, and to an extent, master them, and see symbolically... But that got me into magic because so much of magic is sympathetic, which is to say symbolic, and there I turned to an extent into psychology, but more into anthropology since so much of our fiction is really artifact of what humanity has always been, as our anti-heroes still are, and will seem to be...


Interesting... Can you explain a bit what you mean by 'learning about symbols'? I understand the need to learn to 'see symbolically', but is sounds as if you are almost saying you need to master someone else's symbols.

The way symbols function is an extremely interesting topic, though. The correlation is sometimes arbitary, sometimes relies on shared 'qualities'... actually I'd like to read a whole load more about this.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  2  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 09:32 pm
@Lash,
Thanks Lash. Yeah, I feel my own understanding improving the more I read, which is awesome and the rate of growth in the last two weeks has actually been quite alarming, I feel.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 12:59 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
By the preference of poetry over prose, you need to think of the role played by rhythm and structure unique to poetry. So, by "dynamic" I am stressing the series of interactional events which occur in time between (1) the writer and the composition and (2) the reader and the composition. These can never be semantically equivalent (see Derrida for example) but they serve mutual communicative goals perhaps at the emotional level or even at some dialectical level (Hegel's thesis-antithesis).
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 08:40 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Interesting analysis !

The line I am taking here with PQ is a post-modernist one of "philosophical pragmatism" which rejects language as "representational" or " a reflection of truth". I am doing this in order to suggest a familiar linkage with PQ's musicology in which dynamic structure has more significance than representation. This is not to denigrate your perhaps more conventional approach.

Let me suggest that nothing having significance does not represent, but music, sounds not poetry have literal meaning, and while words often have a literal meaning too, the are significant and represent a certain sort of circumstance or reality... If you look at some one like Ezra Pound falling in love with words for the way they sound you miss entirely the point of words for communication... Here we have this wonderful means of resolving difficulties and coordinating behavior for human benefit and we talk nonsense because it feels good... For everyone like that there is at least another crying for help or out of pain and loneliness unheard over the roar of words signifying nothing.... Is it any wonder so many act out... Violence too is a form of communication; but no one wants to hear what is expressed; but if they do not hear and act then they must feel and fear it...

Now; I make no claim to being a poet; and yet I write poetry... Mostly I write, and since life so often resembles art, crafting a poem out of the spare pieces of life is little challenge... But I would warn anyone to keep it simple, and let not the form of the thing ruin the relationship one would have to the subject and audience... Get rid of form and say your piece... Art is subject and any worthy subject makes poetry of prose...It is not magic and if it were nothing is more pitiful than badly done magic... You are giving a gift, and not picking a pocket... Do not try to be smooth, or artistic, or opaque... Strut your stuff... Flaunt it if you got it; but if it is unnatural it will sound false... And fail...
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 09:07 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:

Fido wrote:

Because I soon discovered that to write I must learn about symbols, and to an extent, master them, and see symbolically... But that got me into magic because so much of magic is sympathetic, which is to say symbolic, and there I turned to an extent into psychology, but more into anthropology since so much of our fiction is really artifact of what humanity has always been, as our anti-heroes still are, and will seem to be...


Interesting... Can you explain a bit what you mean by 'learning about symbols'? I understand the need to learn to 'see symbolically', but is sounds as if you are almost saying you need to master someone else's symbols.

The way symbols function is an extremely interesting topic, though. The correlation is sometimes arbitary, sometimes relies on shared 'qualities'... actually I'd like to read a whole load more about this.
Real symbols are found and not made... Like the archetypes of the tree in Christianity... In the Garden of Eden there was the tree of death, and while the Cross seemed to fulfill the same role it is really the tree of life; and the cross peice is also a dividing line between heaven and earth, and one must cross that division before seeing beyond earthly concerns, and that is why Bob Dylan could frame his conversation between Jesus and the thieves on a watch tower... You have to understand that as our reach has grown so has heaven grown more distant... Jack could reach heaven with a bean stalk, and Jacob could reach it with a ladder and an algonkin girl could follow a porcupine up a tree where he became the sun and she became his bride... Considering our Simian past it is no wonder why down seems evil and up seems good, or why night seems dangerous and day seems beautiful... We can never conceive of anything but through analogy because our knowledge is so limited, and the best we can do is say what a thing is like, and to the primitive mind the representation was the thing because what a person could represent he could also see, that is, hold a mental image of in mind... But the same is true of word pictures, that well wrought words gave power, so that the name: Carmon, is from the Latin word for song, and is where we get our word: charm... And Rhymes were once curses, and you can see this from spell cast on television; that they invariably rhyme...

You can use symbols in a deliberate fashion, as when Baudelaire compares his love to a stinking corpse; but to me the most effective symbols are not at all contrived... And it is important to remember what cannot be symbolized... Music can be represented by numbers or notes but not symbolized, and the same is true of scents, so scents must be tied always to their sources: Smelling like a rose; smelling like a goat, and etc... I feel like I have offered examples without telling you anything... Did I answer your question??? There are some good books on the subject...
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 09:37 am
@Fido,
Quote:
Real symbols are found and not made...
I think that what is underlying this is that you are saying that they are 'found' in the respect that something in the world offers qualities which particularly lend themselves to qualities inherent in an idea. For example, you could view the cross as the 'cross of life' through the shared quality of 'division' in the symbol, a horizontal line, in the idea, the 'division' between eternal life and internal damnation. The two 'shed light' on one another to provide us with a clearer understanding/imagery: the notion of heaven/hell lends extra (conceptual) weight to the horizontal line of the cross; the horizontal line of the cross 'cuts' the division of the heaven/hell clearer.

As a poet, writing his/her own works, I feel that what you must be saying is that you hold a conceptual structure in your brain, and when you see an image in physical reality that shares qualities, the object gets seen in this light, and therefore the symbols are 'found'...

I may be way off track with all of this.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 11:53 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
So I bought a book of poems. . .


So, what are you reading?
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 01:38 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:

Quote:
Real symbols are found and not made...
I think that what is underlying this is that you are saying that they are 'found' in the respect that something in the world offers qualities which particularly lend themselves to qualities inherent in an idea. For example, you could view the cross as the 'cross of life' through the shared quality of 'division' in the symbol, a horizontal line, in the idea, the 'division' between eternal life and internal damnation. The two 'shed light' on one another to provide us with a clearer understanding/imagery: the notion of heaven/hell lends extra (conceptual) weight to the horizontal line of the cross; the horizontal line of the cross 'cuts' the division of the heaven/hell clearer.

As a poet, writing his/her own works, I feel that what you must be saying is that you hold a conceptual structure in your brain, and when you see an image in physical reality that shares qualities, the object gets seen in this light, and therefore the symbols are 'found'...

I may be way off track with all of this.
About right; and then the questions becomes: To what extent are symbols universal, and to what extent can they be used to communicate with the unconscious mind... If we are aware of it, you can be on guard against the manipulation of politicians and ad men... But also, and perhaps more importantly, you can become more self aware, and develop a sense of your own joys, anxieties, doubts and fears communicated to your conscious self through dreams... Before you can communicate effectively what you think of as truth you must find who you truly are... Who are you is a question all must answer correctly to know what is required to feel happiness... Some one else's answer will never serve you...
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Feb, 2011 09:15 pm
I made this yesterday. It's a reading of a poem I wrote last year. I apologize in advance if it seems a bit melodramatic.



I tried to put mental imagery in it. What images come into your head?

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
marcuslangford
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2011 11:12 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
The brain is an organ as any other in the body it has a creative part and as with many organs exercising it makes it better.

There was an experient that i viewed on televison some time ago where they asked a man to draw a horse, then they switched off the logical part of his brain, allowing his creative part to take over and then he drew another picture of a horse, it was better in all aspects.

However having said that they did turn off the entire left half of his brain, who knows what else they turned off.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2011 02:02 pm
@Fido,
A jigsaw of words in there...and an awkward one.
First of all to understand that who you really are is enough of a Universal truth in itself no matter how unique your experience is...second to realize that whatever you live is not yours because "you" are the one who experiences it, but Universal because it is possible and it is happening as you go...

..."YOU" in fact are the only proof that whatever Truth addresses it cannot address anything beyond or behind you, even if with others at your side...and that goes to each and everyone of us...and if to say that what is True for me now is not true for someone else now that in turn does n´t mean that it won´t be or it was n´t already in the past, or that it can ´t be somewhere somehow...To be True does n´t mean at the same time...and not to share the same experience at time X does n´t make truth less truthful...in fact Everything is True...the problem does n´t rest with truth for what it is, but with the conflict of what is true for me now and what is true for you and the why...Truth does n´t oppose one experience against another, but instead binds them all ! The explaining is the real problem in there and not the truth as it goes...a misconception still is a truthful misconception...a very real experience...but most can´t tell the difference !
0 Replies
 
 

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