Complex or simple? which is better?

| | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (1)

“The complex poem is better than the simple poem because it appeals to a greater number of our desires and aversions. And a coherent poem is better than an incoherent poem because in organizing its diverse elements, it also organizes the reader’s psyche.” (79 Keesey)


I disagree a poem can appeal to who ever looks into the poems meaning. I simple poem can mean a lot more to some because they can understand it better. Where as a complex poem may only grab the attention of a person interested in critiquing poetry and not in simply enjoy it.

I have come to the conclusion that I am not a formalist fan. I believe that there is importance to the reading response.  “ But most formal critics, though not necessarily denying that poems have the potential to do something like this for certain readers, rejected the entire reader-response” (80) Why do writers write because they want something to happen, they want readers to respond so isn’t reader response important. 

1 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Complex or simple? which is better?.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

   How time has passed.  I have compiled a list of blogs that you should check out.  They're in neat little categories so that they are easy to go through and you can easily find something that may interest you.... Read More


I happen to agree to disagree with Keesey on this one. I think that a simple poem can be very complex. This is my whole argument for the paper I wrote two weeks ago on "The Red Wheelbarrow." Although the poem strikes the reader as being completely mindless, it follows a specific structure. It has a beat to it that is repeated. The idea of the simple wheelbarrow in itself is actually complex when you think of the object's potential uses. Simplicity can be complex by default. You just have to maybe look harder to see it.

I also have to say that complex does not equal good. I have read some poems in my day (specifically tonight for Irish Literature) that I thought were nice poems. They were very complex and had so many poetic devices I was in awe, but unfortunately, I was unable to interpret the meanings of some of the poems. There were so many little tricks along the way that I got lost. I wanted so badly to understand but it wouldn't come to me and I don't have all night to dwell on one poem.

Good entry Kayley!

Who decides whether it is a simple or complex poem? Sometimes the seemingly simple ones are much more complex than they are given credit. And I agree with Angela, sometimes simplicity is complex by default. I like that Angela. I may have to steal that line from you. Good entry Kayley.

Katie Vann said:

Angela, when you told me last week that you wrote your paper on "The Red Wheelbarrow", I thought that was a great idea. I completely agree with you Angela, some of the simplest poems are the most complex. However Kayley, I think I understand what you mean in that poems that are more obvious and not so abstracted can be enjoyed as well. However, I believe that if a poet can create a complex poem that causes people to study it and create multiple interpretations, then the writer is demonstrating their talent for a more difficult style.

On the other hand, I believe that people can write things that are simple, simply becauses she wants them to be simple (like this sentence). The simple things, however, probably do not become that famous because there has to be something for us literary critics (gosh it feels weird to say that) to tear apart. But I guess that we would definately still find something to critique. It's funny. One day, I want to write a simple poem and have it be famous. Then I'll sit back and laugh when people try to make it into something that it was never intended to be. "The Red Wheelbarrow" was not written with this intention (or at least I don't think it was). But...we will never know.

Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.