Titles

How many poets does it take to change a light bulb?

Titles

Postby Macavity » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:43 am

I've always had issues with titles. I tend to obscure rather than signpost the poem's intended subject -used titles that have failed to provide a context or framework for reading.

I noticed recently, at a more frequented forum where I read rather than post, that a proposed change of title meant I would have ignored that poem. An analogy would be titles in a bookshop. Titles compete for a reader's attention when the author is unknown, Obvious I know, but easy to ignore in a less frequented workshop. I've never used a title to hook a reader/editor.

Some titles simply publicise subject matter: love, death, cancer. I wouldn't read a poem entitled cancer - or one entitled alzheimers - or one with a Latin or classical reference - or at least those poems would be overlooked if they were competing against other titles.

best

mac
Macavity
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
 
Posts: 4139
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Titles

Postby JJWilliamson » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:53 am

Titles are often overlooked as the entry point or gateway into a poem. That's probably why we see so many title changes
as revision progresses. Curiosity can act as a good hook, IE why would a person think/write/do/hate/love such a thing.
I can sometimes be drawn into a poem if I'm curious about the meaning of the title, especially if I feel the greater meaning is
within my grasp. If a poem sounds epic in scale and probable content I tend to be put off a bit. Not because I can't be bothered
to read it, but more because I'd like more time to sink in and appreciate the finer nuances. However, an epic piece must pique
my interest fairly sharpish or I drift away with the daff's. :)

I'm not a fan of obscurity but I enjoy a riddle and associated genres. The more I read and write the more I tend to favour accessibility,
because from a personal pov if I can't follow a poem, because the author is being too clever by half, I inevitably switch off, regardless
of the author's standing.

I struggle with titles, meter, verse, prose, content, accessibility and anything else you care to mention, mainly because I'm writing from my own
sensibilities, never knowing how a piece will be received. Maybe we all simply need to find out what other people think. I'm absolutely convinced
of the therapeutic benefits of writing and getting feelings down on paper, but I never know if a title or poem is nothing more than flat self-indulgence.

To state the obvious: The title is a good starting point, and like in the 4 by 100m relay race the action begins when the first runner rises to the set position.
"On your marks" could well represent the title.

JJ
Long time a child and still a child
User avatar
JJWilliamson
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:20 am

Re: Titles

Postby Antcliff » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:06 pm

I've never used a title to hook a reader/editor.



O I have. Have you ever read my novel "The Day Mac The Poet From PG Won Ten Million Pounds in the Ebbw Vale Mega Lottery"?

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur
Antcliff
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6503
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:35 am
Location: At the end of stanza 3

Re: Titles

Postby Macavity » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:18 am

I'm not a fan of obscurity


By definition JJ, but I presume you are a fan of nuance, subtlety, layered meanings. Forum poetry does not lend itself to poetry where repeated readings over a period of time yield a richer experience.

best

mac
Macavity
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
 
Posts: 4139
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am


Return to Poetry Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group