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The Three P's  FP  4 Jul 03 2:52AM Thread Closed

The Three P’s

For quite some time now I have been thinking about the causes of an individual’s thoughts, opinions, morality, and convictions within life.  After considering many factors that could have influence over these matters among individuals I came to the conclusion of it being a matter of the “Three P’s”, those being, position, perspective, and perception.  Each of these three aspects I feel work separately and together to construct individuals thought processes.  With everything that has been occurring within this board recently I felt it might be a good time to discuss this with some of you to see what your thoughts are on it.  I will go ahead and explain my thoughts on these instances and try to relate them to the matters that have been discussed on this board as well as simple occurrences we deal with daily here.  I will begin by breaking down the “Three P’s” and discussing briefly the way I depict each of them.

Position:  When I think of position I try to take many aspects into account.  Some of these aspects are very simple in nature and some can be very complex.  Some of the most obvious examples of position would be things like one’s geographical location, one’s social status (what rung of the social ladder you stand on), one’s gender, religious background, age, sexual preference, etc.  In simple terms I feel position is the location of an individual in regards to his/her surroundings, or where he/she stands in respect to the world around him/her.  A 26 year old woman from China stands in an extremely different position then a 26 year old woman from England.  Just the same, a 17 year old guy is in a very different position then a 47 year old man.  A latino will have a different position in the United States then an WASP.  It goes on and on this way, and I feel I do not need to explain it any more, but for some people, this may be considered as one’s personal background, and in many ways it is, however I feel it is more so than just that.  For me I feel position is the location of oneself in a given time and space.  For this reason, every individual will go through changes in position and will continue to do so through life.  Background and experience, although vital in the understanding of an individuals current position, pertains to things of the past.  Position I feel encompasses the past, the present, and even the future.  It is a location of an individual upon a timeline, and although an individual may not be aware of his/her future position, he or she has one, whether it be rotting in the ground, the drunk womanizer who ogles women in the produce section at super markets, or the business executive.  (Position: Individual location among exterior forces and stimuli “surroundings”  in direct proportion to time.)

Perspective:  A perspective is a specific point of view in understanding or judging things or events in relation to ones position.  Essentially, perspective is the scope through which every individual perceives and experiences the world.  There are more perspectives than there are people in the world, each perspective depending upon ones position as well as an individual’s experience within this position.  In other words, no two people share the same life position, experience, or background (not even those living within the same household) and therefore, no two people share the same exact perspective (no matter how similar positions, backgrounds, or experiences may be.)  To best understand perspective I like to design simple paradigms to reflect my personal thoughts.  The model I often create for this is quite simple.  I imagine being chained to a chair that is nailed to the floor in front of a window in the attic.  Other than the parts of the attic to my right and left, all I can see is what is through the window.  That specific position, being stuck in the chair at the window, has limited me to a single perspective, and I imagine as I look out that window, that my perspective would be very different if I were in the attic of the next house over.  So perspective becomes the specific scope, a specific point of view, in direct relation to position, through which I can observe my surroundings.  However, because our experiences and positions are in a constant state of change, so are our perspectives.

Perception:  Perception is the trickiest of the “Three P’s” in that it really is dependent upon ones position and perspective.  Position is the location, perspective is the scope, and I feel that perception is the interpretation.  If I am locked in that chair in the attic, my position and perspective will greatly influence my perception.  If I look out the window, I may see a shadow of a tree on the lawn.  Staring at that shadow I begin to make connections on what it appears to look at to me.  To me at this position, this perspective, the shadow may look like a massive orgy on top of a mountain.  However, if I were to be in the house across the street, looking from that attic window, that same shadow might look like a bowl of fruit, or maybe a herd of cattle on a hill.  In the same manner if we think about the idea of up and down, we must realize it is nothing other than a matter of position and perspective.  You throw a ball UP.  It comes back DOWN.  However, drill a hole DOWN through the center of the earth and eventually you will be drilling UP and out of the opposite side.  So basically, our perception; what we see, how we interpret occurrence and stimuli varies with our position and perspective during our interaction with those occurrences and stimuli.  

So where does this apply to poetry and this board in specific?  Well that I feel is quite obvious.  Being that we all come from various positions, we will naturally have various perspectives, and in return, our perception on certain pieces will vary greatly.  When considering poetry I try to keep in mind these “Three P’s”.  I try to keep in mind that the author and I come from very different instances of the “Three P’s” and that because of those differences there may be misinterpretations or misunderstandings or simply instances where I am entirely on the other side of things and feel nothing for what was written, feel that the piece is pointless.  There are many poems on this site that I do not like.  Some of them may be of poetic merit, but because I come from a different position and perspective, my perception of the pieces will be something entirely personal.  There is nothing wrong with this occurring.  It makes for a wide array of poetry as well as a wide array of interpretation or response.  It is because of this that we will have certain people enjoying or getting more meaning out of a poem than other people might.  For some, a poem may just connect… it will hit an iron string… vibrate to the same-self-chord of an individual.  For others, it will sound, read, or appear like a drawer of silverware falling down a flight of stairs.  

Recently people have been discussing what should be most important for poetry, what is bad habit, as well as what is necessary for a poem to be a poem.  Because we come from a wide range of “Three P’s” we will surely have a wide range of ideas in what we feel poetry ought or ought not to be or what is most significant for the success of a poem in general.  There are many things that can be agreed upon, just as there are many things that can be argued.  I feel there is room for both agreement as well as argument within poetry.  I don’t believe that there should be set guidelines, universal laws, or distinguishable rules for poetry.  I feel that if everyone were to follow guidelines, laws, or rules with poetry that it will lead to very dry and redundant work.  It is because people were willing to work against such rules, because people were willing to take chances, strive to find something that works for them, to experiment with poetry, that the poem has come as far as it has come in the present day.  I could not imagine what poetry would be like today if poets did not work to find their own way within poetry.  

For me, I believe that every poem has an entity, and although it may arise out of a style or a development of styles, it needs to be cared for in the sense of its own autonomy.  Each entity is different, each one of us is different.  There may be many similarities, parallels, but there is just as much a sense of individualism for every poem written.  One can begin to recognize a voice after reading various pieces by an author.  However, there will always be anomalies.  Anomalies are needed.  Authors experiment specifically for the anomaly.  It is a process of growth through which writers develop their voice further, broaden their horizons, strive to find ways to make a poem work, a way to get it right, for the poem.  A poem either hits or it misses and when a single individual reads a poem it enters a new stage in this growth.  The entity is observed, and it hits… or it misses.  It should be the authors greatest concern to try and develop an understanding of his/her own poetry/prose… to know whether their poem hits or misses, to know if they have really pulled a poem out of their writing, to know if the entity has been given life.  

I have been meditating on a poem about this for a bit… I am going to improvise it really quick from my thoughts cause I feel it is relevant.

Boxing Baseball and the Poem

A bat
A ball
A fist
A face
We swing
We hit
Or we miss.

It is nothing grand, certainly, but I feel it holds some truth to it.

Many people do not feel comfortable with critiquing poems.  I feel that the “Three P’s” play a significant role in this occurrence.  Personally… I know I can critique, however I also can feel very uncomfortable in critiquing certain pieces.  Many times this results from a difference in my position and perspective, and the perception I attain from the two in reference.  I may find a poem to be horrid that someone else thinks is beautiful.  This will always occur with each and every one of us.  At times I feel it is best to give a reason why you found a poem to be horrible, but sometimes I feel it can’t even be explained.  That may sound trite or contradictory in respect to that I always feel things can be said about poetry even if it is awful, but sometimes it just happens that way.  It is without reason really… it just is.  I have said this before but I will repeat myself again.  If someone feels my poetry is shit, I would much rather have them tell me that, then tell me different for sake of my own feelings. As long as a comment is honest reaction I feel it has merit, whether it be critical analysis and critique, or just a simple “I like it” or “I don’t like it.”  Even the comments that don’t go as far as to explain personal opinions, say something to an author.  It tells them whether their poetry is “hitting” or if it is “missing.”  To provide false notions to an author is the worst comment you can provide. If you are writing to learn, to expand horizons, and develop your voice, you should feel similarly in this.  We ought to take a pride in what we write, and stand by many of our convictions in how we feel about our writing, but we as well should be open to other’s opinions and listen to one another for sake of learning and communication.  

“One is always in the wrong… the truth begins with two.” Fredrich Nietzsche

(I feel so redundant quoting Nietzsche all the time but much of what he says applies well to many of my own thoughts and issues I end up discussing.)

As much as I feel that the “Three P’s” should be regarded when reading or critiquing literature, I feel they should just the same be taken into account when writing literature.  In this case we are discussing poetry.  To realize that we have a specific position, perspective, and perception is vital to the writing of poetry.  With realizing this there comes a responsibility that is laid upon the author when writing poetry.  We may not understand ourselves as much as we may like to or think we do, but it is certain that we do have a better sense of ourselves personally than any other would have of us individually.  Introspectively we delve into ourselves to find the voice through which we write our poetry.  At times we are prone to understand the things we write about more acutely than others might.  

For example: say I were to write a line such as… “The universe is a fat woman sprawled naked over a floor slathered in Crisco.”  Not to say I would write such a line, but if I were to write a line similarly to that it might have more meaning to me than anyone else who reads it.  

It is my deepest concern as someone who enjoys writing to try and depict my work in a manner that it can be understood.  This may very well be another one of my personal preferences.  I feel that because I am writing for an audience, that I am writing to be understood in some fashion… that I am writing to connect with that audience.  If I can not connect with the audience my words become entirely inane or meaningless.  They become blank images that although may have personal meaning or symbolism for myself, can not be understood and shared in by others.  (at least not to a full degree)  I am writing from a specific position, a specific perspective, and a specific perception and I feel it is vital for me to make those known to the audience to some degree.  There are many various ways this can be done.  It can be brought directly to ones attention, or it can be inferred or insinuated with a subtle quality.   There is a multitude of ways one can express their intent within poetry, express their emotions or thoughts.  Basically what I am trying to get at is, when writing poetry, I feel each individual ought to regard there “Three P’s” as well as the “Three P’s” of their audience and strive to make their work cohesive, strive to clarify their intent in their writing, strive to pull everything together and make the poem work for the audience.  (I am already contradicting myself with guidelines I feel… but I don’t think they are necessarily guidelines and this is just personal thought and can be taken as a grain of salt.) At least if you are not to do this I feel one should be understanding in the fact that many people may not get what you are writing about or may not even enjoy your work.

A poem does not have to always contain Truth, Metaphor, or Symbolism; does not have to be of some profound subject matter; does not need to express some heightened intellect, emotional experience, philosophical, scientific, or psychological idea; it does not have to be beautiful; it does not have to be ugly.  The poem can be anything so long as it finds itself.  The poet’s job is often helping a poem to do just that.  Find itself.  (Critiquing can help this process as well.)    There is merit to all aspects of writing poetry.  Merit for wanting to write period, for wanting to express yourself.  Merit in the composition of a piece, in the music that poetry can often be.  Merit in being able to touch an audience.  Merit in the imagination, in metaphoric abilities, abilities in simplicity or complexity.  Merit for a multitude of things.  Mostly it is all growth, just as it is in life.  Learning… being and becoming.  

If you have read this far into my rant I am surprised and flattered because I probably would have stopped reading at the second paragraph. HAHAHA.  Thank you for listening.  I will probably say something in the near future that contradicts everything I said here tonight, but that isn’t a bad thing.  It is bound to happen at some point and should happen.  I have just been thinking a lot about my “Three P’s” as of recent and everything that has occurred here in the past week heightened these thoughts and I began to relate it to the board.  I feel the “Three P’s” can be related to a lot of things in life.  I just tried to make it relevant for this board and I do believe it is quite relevant.  Could be wrong.   I hope some of it makes sense and that I am not ranting nonsensically for myself.  Even if… it’s healthy.  Really interested in what people might think about all this.  Please respond.  I feel it could lead to some interesting discussion.  Just trying to spark things off… get the wheels turning.  

I am all typed out.  Need a beer.  Ciao.

re: The Three P's  unknown  7 Aug 03 9:38PM Thread Closed


re: The Three P's  unknown  8 Aug 03 1:03AM Thread Closed

You are only 17 and you need a beer? lol...and here I was thinking about pushing a certain someone outta the way and adopting you myself!  Very interesting thoughts Chris - you are essentially practicing poetic tolerance.  dkm.

re: The Three P's  FP  10 Aug 03 8:23AM Thread Closed

Chris???? 17??? I am neither of those.

re: The Three P's  unknown  10 Aug 03 10:12AM Thread Closed

Oh.  I guess I have confused you with another - my apologies.  dkm.

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