Sarah-Jane Dobner remembers a trip to a southern gem: Portland.
An island of flint-in-mud geology, quarries and fossils. A place for dinosaurs, dragons, snakes, lizards - an ancient, reptile zoology. An oddity poking out the south of the Kingdom - straining for a fight or just offering a viewpoint?
I like your work, Dob cubed
Never been to Portland
You've given me a feeling of what it might be like to go
Even if I never do
There are threats, on posts, about parking tickets
We never pay. Barely stop. Flit in and away.
Is UKC really condoning such behaviour?
It’s a poem. Not an editorial or part of the crag approach notes in the app.
It's clearly hit a nerve for quite a lot of forum regulars given the growing number of dislikes. I know where I sit on the subject of artistic endeavour vs mean button pressers.
There once was negative feature
That fed many a miserable creature
They stress and they press
And they fess and depress
A poet, the nerve! That'll teach 'er
Oh why do we keep this damn button
To the lamb of discourse, less than mutton
We don't have to like
But it's hardly a fike
To expect and respect art/exposition.
I hear what you're saying. But the problem with these poems is that, well, they're just not very good. It's hard to dress them up as anything else.
I can appreciate good writing and poetry. There are some brilliant articles on this site. It's a shame and somewhat baffling that these particular poems still get published on here.
That were terrible.
> It's clearly hit a nerve for quite a lot of forum regulars given the growing number of dislikes. I know where I sit on the subject of artistic endeavour vs mean button pressers.
Haha, me too. I can't say that I like many of the poems (to be honest I am rarely a fan of poetry, but that's ok, each to their own eh), however I reckon it makes the site better to have a range of contributions and articles. And I am sure the parking ticket non payment line was added by the poet in full knowledge that it would cause a reaction. Personally I always pay to park, but not everyone does and the line amused me (perhaps because I instantly knew how many on UKC were going to react).
Ah!.... thanks for keying up another one of my pet hates..... UKC posters who state personal artistic opinion as fact.
Again, I hear what you're saying. Taken on board.
It's just that each time these poems get published they generate a thread of responses from a lot of people that collectively say 'come on UKC, you can do better than this'.
I guess that's the reason they still get published- they generate clicks. Even if it's a negative thing.
You can probably dismiss some of the criticism as personal taste, however just look at the response to all of the features from this article.... there is a consistently negative view on them.. because they're rubbish.
Maybe UKC take the view that any traffic is good traffic on their site, and a negative comment is as good as a positive one. I cant think why they would persist with someone who clearly isn't very good at what she is trying to do... create poetry for the readers of UKC.
I'm not sure I would give my housemate this many attempts.
Behold all those UKC critics
Who don't need to explain with specifics
Why it's good, twixt or bad
We should all just be glad
That they deigned us with certain pontifics
The buttons aren't "good" or "bad" so literary critiscism doesn't come into it. It's "like" or "dislike" and it's not your place to decide what WE like or not.
Even that was better than what was in the article.
Can you explain why I should have liked the 'poem', as you seem so sure of yourself that i am wrong, and this is a literary masterpiece.
Two posters said in no uncertain terms it was bad poetry. The last limerick was in response to that. I have no interest whatsoever in dictating what people should like or not but think art should be given a chance (it's hardly like significant work was always popular... or the opposite...posters of female tennis players with no knickers in the Louvre!?)
The trouble with dislikes is we don't know if it's a soft 'this isn't my cup of tea' or 'a heap of excrement' or even possibly sympathy for the poet's expressed artistic concerns. It's low quality unhelpfully negative anonymous information that in informative terms could be exceeded with just a few words (that of course might leave the critic open to response). Facebook dumped the idea despite most users wanting such a button as they realised it could lead to behaviour problems (and more importantly hit their bottom line).
I'm sorry but I don't share your hubristic certainty in my own critical expertise. It's easier to be fairly certain something is not as bad as a particular public thinks. As some of the words moved and surprised me, yes I think for me it was comfortably of a quality worth publishing here. In the end invoking non straightforward emotional response, so that we ponder the highly complex human condition, is probably the most important function of art. In terms of masterpieces, near universal critically acclaimed art sometimes only moves a small minority of the public but maybe the critics are attuned to the issues involved.
I still like the idea of niche art, especially in popular culture.. marmite output clearly based on some degree of exceptional talent. I was pondering this after watching a documentary on Rush a couple of nights back... far from my favourite band but I just had to admire what they did and what they mean to a clearly intelligent fan base. https://www.rushtimestandstill.com/
Do you really need people to put a disclaimer before anything stating whether it is evidence based fact or opinion? this is POETRY, you simply cannot get something more subjective so when i said its rubbish, i meant to suffix that with 'in my opinion'.
I wholeheartedly disagree with you on the merits of the piece. You're opinion is totally valid however because of the subjective nature of the piece. Doesn't make youre right, so stop telling me i'm wrong.
I never quite got on with Portland but I found this enjoyable, thanks to author for writing them and UKC for publishing.
"just look at the response to all of the features from this article.... there is a consistently negative view on them.. because they're rubbish."
Poems about Portland can be a bad habit,
Like when I reach the chain and then grab it,
But I must bring to your attention
That there is not a mention
Of that hoppy little beast called the ra...
Ha! I did say in a post above that I can appreciate good poetry
People who live in glass houses,
Should pull down the blind,
when removing their trousers.
Maybe Portland makes folk happy.
I recall when attacks
(on dislikes) caused hundreds more.
here's my effort:
There once was climber on Portland
whose poetry rarely scanned
but was short of draws
so used some straws
and a great big rubber band.
I enjoyed that, even though I struggle with reading poetry.
It evoked a few forgotten memories about the esoteric nature of Portland trips. So thanks for writing.
And seeing it's inspired others to write, here's my wee response to what I see here...
What’s with the hype?
About this 'arty shite’
Give me Peter, Doug, Mick all the time,
Because 'I know'. They’re sublime.
Not my cup of tea at all. Sorry.
Having been deleted from this thread, I refer to my previous response to the same trash last time.
This reminds me a lot of those poetry anthologies that you used to get 'published' in when you were in primary school - with parents beholden to buy a copy for the shelf, never to be read, purely because their child was in it.
Come to think of it, so do all of SJD's articles.
My PhD supervisor used to say about art, 'I know a lot about art but I don't know what I like.' He was trying to drive a wedge between opinion and critique. We can speak critically about poetry without expressing an opinion about it. About the present work, I would like to make a general comment. I find it difficult to read poetry on the UKC website - this poetry, any poetry - simply because it is not the place I go to read poetry. It is where I go for my type 2 fun fantasies, and they are particularly resistant to aestheticisation. If this author is brave, it is because she has insisted on colonising such alien terrain. And about that thumbs up/down thingie up at the top left corner, I don't think that is an acceptable response to a complex piece of work. That thing is for when your friends snapchat you a new purchase or haircut and expect you to say they are great.
My thoughts exactly. Well said.
I enjoyed this article on tips for transitions by Sarah-Jane much more than the poetry-based article about Portland;
Can we have more of this please?
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