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Writers' Forum • The right side of the brain and poetry
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The right side of the brain and poetry

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:58 pm
by riverwriter
Poetry presents a rare point of view to the world: the poet presents the world as filtered through the right side of the brain. I think this is an interesting way of determining what is the essential element that qualifies a collection of words to be considered a poem. I note that writers often place words into what looks like verse, but does not strike me as a poem because it is all left brain observation--in essence, pragmatic fact.

This point was brought home to me in an interview on CBC Radio One today (December 6, 2009). In it, Dr. Taylor described how, in the hospital after her stroke, which cut off her access to the left side of her brain for a time, she can recall not having any facts: she did not recognize her mother: her mother's name is Gigi; when she heard Gigi was coming to visit her, she wondered what a Gigi was. When her mother arrived, and cuddled her, she thought, delighted, "Ah, so this is what a Gigi is!" Her mother, arriving to see her twenty-seven year old daughter curled up in a fetal position in the hospital bed, instinctively realized that she needed to be held.

As I listened to the broadcast, I realized that What I do when I write poetry is to filter reality through the right side of my brain. I also realized that this is what makes poetry unique and significant for human experience: while most writing is filtered through the left side of the brain exclusively, it is poetry that takes language through the other, more intuitive route.

As Agnes said recently in a thread : you may have to trick your ego (in essence, your chosiste left brain).

I think this is an idea worth exploring.

Podcast of Mary Hynes's interview with Dr. Taylor is the Tapestry program of December 6, 2009:

Dr. Taylor has also written a book:

Re: The right side of the brain and poetry

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:15 am
by Agnes
I didn't download the podcast, so I'm not sure if it's the same content as this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyyjU8fzEYU

I've seen this a few times. I may have posted it before. Don't remember. There may be a couple different videos out there. This one is a 20-minute video presentation given by Taylor describing her stroke and the differences between left and right brain hemispheres. It's on Youtube, so you don't have to download it.

You can't write poetry with just the right brain because it doesn't have language. No language. No time. No reason. No boundaries. Just being. Feeling. Intuition. What would a total right brain poem look like?

Remember Jim Murdoch's post I shared down in the reference section? viewtopic.php?f=9&t=983 What does a poem do?

Here's a question. What color is being: Black or white?

http://learn.sdstate.edu/melissa_mork/C ... _chara.htm

There's a brain dominance quiz at the link at bottom of page at this site:
http://frank.mtsu.edu/~studskl/hd/hemis.html


It says I'm left brain dominant 14/5 (14 left 5 right)


This is kind of interesting
http://www.leapingfromthebox.com/art/km ... yles2.html
One of the charts shows skills.
(Try to read it without formatting. :lol: )

Skills Associated with Hemispheric Specialization7
Left Hemisphere Right Hemisphere
Handwriting Haptic awareness
Symbols Spatial relationships
Language Shapes and patterns
Reading Mathematical computation
Phonics Color sensitivity
Locating details and fact Singing and music
Talking and reciting Art expression
Following directions Creativity
Listening Visualization
Auditory Association Feelings and emotions

I'm left brain dominant, but I'm not a good talker or listener. Unless I'm talkin' to myself in my head. It's very busy up there.

Left. Right. Up. Down. It's all too complicated. I'm just a simple Agnes!
Agnes

Re: The right side of the brain and poetry

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:35 pm
by riverwriter
I haven't yet checked out your links, Agnes, but I have to clarify: I am not saying The right brain writes poetry, I am saying reality filtered through the right brain is critical to poetry.

I know that language is left brain dependent. What I am saying is that for the language to become poetry, it requires specific right brain input, or filtering ; in other words, there is no such thing as poetry that is left brain only, and that the less right brain input there is, the less poetic it is. Of course that is probably true of any creative process.

In most people, music is a right brain activity, but in a musician, the left brain becomes more important as the right brain's synapses develop form exposure to music. I am sure there is a comparable shift as a person becomes more poetic. I think that part of the development of a poet is to become more sensitive to the possibilities that the right brain presents.

PS (Back again): I went through the right/left dominance test. Result: 6/13 -- I am right brain dominant.

Re: The right side of the brain and poetry

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:23 pm
by Agnes
Here are some left brain writing prompts. http://www.writingfix.com/left_brain.htm

This is interesting: http://www.url-der.org/poetryarticle.htm Trick your left brain. Give yourself a couple rules, then just write. It's what I do a lot.


Agnes :smt045 :smt045

Re: The right side of the brain and poetry

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:25 pm
by Agnes

The right side of the brain and poetry

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:57 am
by Jabberwhacky
0/0

Hmm...?! :smt017

Re: The right side of the brain and poetry

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:24 am
by Agnes

Re: The right side of the brain and poetry

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:21 pm
by Cat Sith
I scored same as River.

~

You responded as a right brained person to 13 questions, and you responded as a left brained person to 6 questions. According to the Hemispheric Dominance test, you use your right brain the most. The summary briefly describes your dominance type. Remember, this only represents half of the picture. After you read the description, click on the link at the bottom of the page to find out how to use this information to improve your study strategies. Do not forget to print your results, if your instructor has requested you to do so.

Some of the traits associated with the right side of the brain are listed in the table. Not all of the traits will apply to you. Remember, we use both side of our brain, but your right sides gets the most exercise.

Type of Cognitive Processing

Brief Description
Holistic: Processing information from whole to part; sees the big picture first, not the details.
Random: Processing information with out priority, jumps form one task to another.
Concrete: Processes things that can be seen , or touched - real objects.
Intuitive: Processes information based on whether or not it feels right know answer but not sure how it was derived.
Nonverbal: Processes thought as illustrations.
Fantasy-Oriented: Processes information with creativity; less focuses on rules and regulations

~

I read through the differences and it's fascinating! The first four listed are definitely where I must have scored highest for my 13 vs 6 because they describe me accurately. I definitely need more balance. I find it really hard to do writing assignments for my college classes and I do have trouble with making sure I am working on the right priorities just like it says. At work and at home and for school. And yes, I am always busy, not like I'm sitting idle, but even though I know which thing is the most important I can't seem to stop myself from jumping back and forth. This really explains a lot. If only I could find a job for a right brained person I'd be so much happier I think, not always fighting against my natural way of thinking. Unfortunately they seem to be scarce. I guess I'll just have to figure out how to become a writer full time or artist or musician or something else where my kind of thinking is allowed and considered an asset. I WISH! I find it to be quite a liability in the "real" world. Give me my fantasy world back dang it. http://frank.mtsu.edu/~studskl/hd/LRBrain.html


Ravi -- 0/0? WTH? Perhaps you should try again. You have to be Left with that vocabulary of yours.

Re: The right side of the brain and poetry

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:32 pm
by olson29