The case for Romantic Realism, and…

…other bedtime stories.  This is in actuality not a formal “case-making” post.  However I do feel I have a thought or two which I would like to air. Not so much regarding poetry, as regarding writing and sensuality in general.

First, I shall add the quote of the original post  here:

~Lady Day
November 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm Reply

wowzers! You take the ‘lengthiest’ commenting award. This was so interesting to learn so much about you and your wife…First, my spellings are british-ish because, I’m Canadian.
Second, though I love all five of my rather boisterous crew, it is a lot of work, and ten, well goodness…I am so very finished that makes me hyperventilate.
Shyness…there is a ton of erotica and porn on the web, really, I want no part of it. Romance and sensuality to me are different because they involve deep emotion, which, is true to how humans should feel about this aspect of life, with no apologies. That being said, any poetry on the internet that grazes sexuality can definitely be taken as just another erotica write…which, is a dime a dozen, or free actually. I’m not interested in participating in it at all. Shyness is based off what I’ve seen…some are just porn peddlers…cheap, poetic street-walkers… that’s their choice, but, I hope to not have what I write, seen as such.
Fourth…you were a poet then before knowing her, as mild of form as it had. Comical poetry was my first collection as well. Around age twelve…my teacher, gave me a binder filled with blank pages, and told me to ‘fill it’…I did. Thank goodness for good teachers who can see where you truly come alive! I was a fan of Dennis Lee, a Canadian children’s poet, though I’m sure he writes other things, he is best known for his humorous, rather ‘rude’ funny, kids poems…he inspired me then…so I have some, ‘kid funny’, stuff.
Thank you for the reblog…and well, I am beyond thankful that this piece of writing touched you…I do tend to just let the words spill out as they like, so when a freewrite, makes contact with hearts, it still just confuses me that people connect so profoundly with them…Thank you for that.
I hope today finds you both very well, despite these trials.
Hugs to you both.

David Emeron
November 24, 2012 at 2:45 am Reply

As I found, this morning, after having some days past jotted down a few notes, myself writing another sonnet inspired by a few words you wrote above, I decided to visit this post once again–and with it, all the emotions so associated. I’m very glad I did, because I hadn’t seen your very long answer above. I believe, since it was not entered as a “reply,” it wouldn’t trigger any kind of event on my own feed, or list of comments and responses. Some of what you wrote above is of particular interest to me because … Wellll…. what I will do is repost the above, and present and answer some of what you say above, and also, explain a few things by of…. well, I shall make it clear in that post, I promise!

Let me also say that among my sonnets the one cited above is still my favourite at the present time, and certainly among my favourites at any time. This is due, in large part, to your delightful freeverse. Writing a sonnet based on something of yours is very liberating, because you–your words–take me outside myself, as it were; cause me to push myself, into metaphoric overdrive, to use, oddly enough, another common metaphor. Your symbolism is of one who is steeped bona fide in the humanities. Where as I am only borrowing, copying, and yes, at some point, synergising–and even becoming one of those humanities people, in my own right. Still, you take me further into symbol and metaphor than I am easily able to go, ordinarily. Reading over this sonnet and your inspired shorter freeverse, for example, one can see wherein I used all the imagery contained in your most lovely piece; but one may also see the lines therein which were clearly inspired by this symbolic and metaphoric style of yours. Were it not for your own words, I do not believe I would have written a line such as “dripping wild implore and sweet delight.” But i found myself so inspired that I even found the wherewithal to turn verbs into nouns! I thank you for what might be termed a “mind-expanding” experience.

Now what struck me in the above were these few lines–marked with the heading: “Shyness,” and so marked as the post was in answer to one of mine; and which, in any case, I shall again here quote:

Shyness…there is a ton of erotica and porn on the web, really, I want no part of it. Romance and sensuality to me are different because they involve deep emotion, which, is true to how humans should feel about this aspect of life, with no apologies. That being said, any poetry on the internet that grazes sexuality can definitely be taken as just another erotica write…which, is a dime a dozen, or free actually. I’m not interested in participating in it at all. Shyness is based off what I’ve seen…some are just porn peddlers…cheap, poetic street-walkers… that’s their choice, but, I hope to not have what I write, seen as such.

I, myself, am of two minds regarding pornography and erotica. I find I am one of a minority, particularly among men, for which it “does little.” That being stated, and in keeping with the above sentiment, I have absolutely no objections to such writing or other depictions, on moral, or any other grounds. Although, I further understand the desire–though debatable whether such might be in vain or not–to not have ones writing seen as such.

Although, once one “puts it out there,” as it were, one has no choice in the matter of how it may be seen. Still I do empathise with this desire in a most personal way.

Suffice it to say that although I am not entirely immune to the “charms” of such writing, I do find myself to feel very particular about it. By way of full disclosure (or “TMI” as it might also be termed) I think it would be fair to state that, although erotic writing, such as it may be, need not be completely holistic–that is to say a completely integrated emotional experience–still, it does take a rather unusual piece of writing to “float my boat,” as it were.

To draw a distinction or two–or three–one might agree that there are various classes of such writing; and, although this is not a treatise written to expressly categorise such work, it might be useful to define, or map out a few sub genres. So, let us say, pornography might be the most direct, and perhaps, most crass version of such writing. This might be followed by what today has come to be termed “erotica.” This is writing that might be less harsh or crass–though not necessarily so–and that might regard the topic with perhaps a more artistic eye. After that, there is what might be termed Romance, which though it may at times be explicit, it is more often euphemistic.

Let me also disclose that I have written–although not published–some of this kind of work. Such work as I have produced, however does not fall easily into any of the above categories, and this is quite by design. Long before I attempted my first erotic word, in earnest, I spent a good deal of time thinking about how it might be done.

I spent nearly five years thinking quite often about the subject of such writing, how I should like to see such things written; and what, if anything I could identify as being a common thread among such writing that did, in some way appeal to me, rather than the reverse–which is generally the case with such writing.

Condensing the considerations of five years time here–because I have, indeed, given it quite a lot of thought–is for me, not a difficult task. Here in a “nutshell,” are the ideas, or objectives, that drove my thinking:

First, It seems a must to present erotic subjects in their ideal forms. Exalting them. Holding them up as examples. One should encounter such words and think something along these lines: “Wow, I wish I might have such an experience as that!”

Second, that the language not be euphemistic–as is often the case in romance. Such writing, inasmuch as it is vague and indirect, is, in a sense, ashamed of itself. Or more accurately, its author might himself have been mitigating such shame by euphemistically describing such things, and/or being vague.

Third, this non euphemistic language–which may be quite explicit in its description–must not, however, be crude or crass.

Fourth, such language must also not sound clinical.

Fifth, such writing, whether abstract or fully characterised–and certainly either might be acceptable–should be compelling. The reader should think: “Yes, I see why this was written; I see why this scene was not glossed over; I see how it has a purpose.”

All this is easier said than done. However, if one puts ones mind to any such problem or puzzle, one eventually works out a strategy for solving it, albeit at times a lengthy process.

I believe I have found a way to do so. And, as it turns out, the task is not quite as difficult as I had originally thought it to be. Still, it did take some time to work out the details and the exact method wherein all five of the above points–plus a few more I didn’t mention–might be completely observed without compromise between them.

I will not here discuss the whys and wherefores of this type of writing, because this post is already too long and I prefer allowing such writing as I have described–that I have already done, or am in the process of doing–speak for itself.

I do have plans to post some of it in one form or another in the not too distant future. But, in any case, it is not all that difficult for one to conceptualize the nature of such writing if one observes the 5 points above. Finding the exact words to do so can be a challenge, however not, I feel confident in so stating, beyond the ability of anyone who writes, and loves to write.

All of the above being specified, I should note that there IS some writing here and there on the net that accomplishes much of what I described.

And, as the title indicates, the method–the concept here described–really amounts conceptually to what might be termed “Romantic Realism.”

This, as a movement, is a very exciting development, and its participants are remarkable people for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they really are engaged in making an “end run” around the false or manufactured trend of the ugly. I feel very encouraged by this trend.

And in particular, I believe it is the best method to keep in mind when one is writing about such things as sex, or any number of other topics–whether sensitive or ordinary.

Such Romanticism can be very explicit, but still quite beautiful and veritably packed with lovely imagery, thoughts, ideas, concepts, etc.

Perhaps, I’ll leave it here for now.

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