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There were more people in the audience than on the panel. That this happened at 10:00 on a Sunday for a poetry panel beggars the imagination.
There was more do discuss than anyone expected, and more opinions and just information. Amal is getting her PhD in this area, and is a font of knowledge.
Clif is opinionated.
We talked about the difference in mind-set between writing a poem to advance your novel, fill in the world, or introduce chapters versus the times you write a poem because the poem needs to be written. As you might expect, the panelists ranged from "I can't write to spec", to "there's a difference?"
Poetry (even more so than other forms of writing) is very personal and we all had our own take on how to do it.
Most of the discussion ranged around poetry in Fantasy or Historic settings, but we did mention hard SF poetry like Mary O'Meara from Poul Anderson's World Without Stars and Jerry Pournelle's Line Marines.
It was amusing that two of the panelists were writing stories about a bard, and writing bits where the bard sings and thinks about his performance while doing it. I actually brought a hardcopy of that scene from Simple Penance in case things got too slow. (They didn't.)
There are new translations of the Odyssey and Beowulf coming out soon. These are being done with an aim to make the stories more accessible and hewing to the poem's meaning rather than the exact words Homer and Anonymous used.
This led to a discussion of language. If you are writing a historical, do you use historical language, or modern slang? There's no use in writing in pre-Norman English, nobody can read that. It's doubtful that a bard singing to the gang in a tavern is going to use the flowery verses that the Cavalier's of the 1600's used, even if he's singing in that era (unless it's a particularly classy tavern). On the other hand, your modern reader may drop their suspension of disbelief if you use modern phrases.