William Wordsworth defined poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings," and Emily Dickinson said, "If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry. Poetry is a lot of things to a lot of people. Homer's epic, "The Odyssey," described the wanderings of the adventurer, Odysseus, and has been called the greatest story ever told. During the English Renaissance, dramatic poets such as John Milton, Christopher Marlowe, and of course William Shakespeare gave us enough to fill textbooks, lecture halls, and universities.
Shall we go on? Because in order to do so, we would have to continue through 19th-century Japanese poetry, early Americans that include Emily Dickinson and T. Eliot, postmodernism, experimentalists, form vs. Perhaps the characteristic most central to the definition of poetry is its unwillingness to be defined, labeled, or nailed down. Poetry is the chiseled marble of language; it's a paint-spattered canvas, but the poet uses words instead of paint, and the canvas is you. Poetic definitions of poetry kind of spiral in on themselves, however, like a dog eating itself from the tail up.
Let's get nitty. Let's, in fact, get gritty.
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We can likely render an accessible definition of poetry by simply looking at its form and its purpose. One of the most definable characteristics of the poetic form is economy of language. Poets are miserly and unrelentingly critical in the way they dole out words to a page. The poet, through innovation in both word choice and form, seemingly rends significance from thin air.
One may use prose to narrate, describe, argue, or define. There are equally numerous reasons for writing poetry. But poetry, unlike prose, often has an underlying and overarching purpose that goes beyond the literal. Poetry is evocative. It typically provokes in the reader an intense emotion : joy, sorrow, anger, catharsis, love Poetry has the ability to surprise the reader with an "Ah-ha!
Like Keats said: "Beauty is truth. Truth, beauty. How's that? Do we have a definition yet? Let's sum it up like this: Poetry is artistically rendering words in such a way as to evoke intense emotion or an "ah-ha! Boiling it down like that doesn't quite satisfy all the nuances, the rich history, and the work that goes into selecting each word, phrase, metaphor, and punctuation mark to craft a written piece of poetry, but it's a start.
It's difficult to shackle poetry with definitions. Poetry is not old, frail, and cerebral.
What Is Poetry? An Introduction
Poetry is stronger and fresher than you think. Poetry is imagination and will break those chains faster than you can say "Harlem Renaissance. To borrow a phrase, poetry is a riddle wrapped in an enigma swathed in a cardigan sweater Be a camera. This phrase does not mean that the lead singer is literally a salamander.
Rather, it takes an abstract characteristic of a salamander elusiveness and projects it onto the person. A simile is a statement where you say one object is similar to another object. This phrase takes one quality of a caterpillar and projects it onto a person. It is an easy way to attach concrete images to feelings and character traits that might usually be described with abstract words.
The point to remember is that comparison, inference, and suggestion are all important tools of poetry; similes and metaphors are tools that will help in those areas. Therefore, if the poet uses such a word, the reader may take a different meaning from it than the poet intended. One way to achieve this is to think of an object or a scene that evokes feelings of happiness to represent the happy feeling. This line uses two concrete images: a smile and a ripening tomato.
Describing the smile shows the reader something about happiness, rather than simply coming right out and naming the emotion. Also, the symbolism of the tomato further reinforces the happy feelings. Red is frequently associated with love; ripening is a positive natrual process; food is further associated with being satisfied. OK, the image has gotten embarrassingly obvious now, but you can see how the introduction of the tomato permits us to make many additional connections. Poetry always has a theme. Theme is not just a topic, but an idea with an opinion. This is not a theme.
It is only a subject. It is just an event. There are no ideas, opinions, or statements about life or of wisdom contained in this sentence. This is a theme. It is not just an event, but a statement about an event. A poet sees a sixty-year old woman and imagines a grandmother who runs marathons. A poet sees a two-year old boy and imagines him painting with ruby nail polish on the toilet seat, and his mother struggling to not respond in anger.
Take the ordinary and turn it on its head. Rhyme and meter the pattern of stressed and unstressed words can be dangerous if used the wrong way. Remember sing-song nursery rhymes? If you choose a rhyme scheme that makes your poem sound sing-song, it will detract from the quality of your poem. It is hard enough to compose a poem without dealing with the intricacies of rhyme and meter.
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The first completed draft of your poem is only the beginning. Pay attention to the sounds the words make, even if you write in free verse.
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Just because a poem is short does not mean writing it is easy. Most professors will expect you to revise in-progress poems. I love poetry and always wanted to create mine, but I have difficulties but this post will help me a lot. Thank you very much for the explanation. Im so much in love with your site and look forward to learn more. I have to write a 1 or 2-minute poem for a school tea. We have just launched a book club. Our intention is to write on different genres: poetry, novel,novella, short stories and drama.
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We are self taught of which the tips here will develop us immensely. Thank you. Your feeds into your topic is worth reading and worth the while. For your invaluable suggesstions to budding poets. I shall try to make myself better after this. Pingback: The blue world, poem - Creative Bluemagicbird. These blis showering words enriches my heart with the guidy meaning they got in them Inspired. Quite helpful…a lot of tips that I never had…. The love that flows with the beat from the bosom of desire ,comes from the love of natures fires eternally evolving. I am a lover of all creatures,big and small and all the time I spend loving myself ,through the trees of Oregon and insects, to keep the cycle of life on the prowl for rainbows and unicorns.
Really great thanks. I have waited far to long to put my thoughts down on paper. I am a Poet and I love your site. I am the Master and I am a writer. Poetically I began socially, A poem is my emblem. When my visuals are off, I write just as creative. This article benefits alot and will help improve any type of flaws that occur. Hope to publish one day or read them to a small crowd or both.