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Sunday, March 6, 2011

so . . .what is Poetry ?

so . . . What is Poetry ?

As i visit upon the variety of Poetry Venues such as Open Mike Shows, Reading Circles, Blogs and other offerings such as Books, i find my self quite often asking the very same question . . .”What is Poetry”. No doubt, the practical meaning or definition of Poetry is being expanded in our time. In today’s world, there are so many varieties of Delivery, Creation and Feelings about Poetry, that the casual observer can become quite confused. Why, even for many Poets such as my self and many of my Peers, it becomes difficult to attain clarity as to what our Craft is and what it is becoming. And of course there is always our own personal “Perspectives” and “Preferences”.

I decided to start this Article off with an accepted definition as given by Dictionary Dot Com. This is not to say that Dictionary Dot Com is the final authority, but it will give us a pretty damned good idea as to what at this juncture of reality Poetry is. Read On . . . .


poetry pronunciation/ˈpoʊɪtri/ Show Spelled[poh-i-tree] Show IPA
the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.
literary work in metrical form; verse.
prose with poetic  qualities.
poetic  qualities however manifested: the poetry of simple acts and things.
poetic  spirit or feeling: The pianist played the prelude with poetry.
something suggestive of or likened to poetry: the pure poetry of a beautiful view on a clear day.

1350–1400; Middle English poetrie  < Medieval Latin poētria  poetic art, derivative of poēta poet,  but formation is unclear; probably not < Greek poitria  poetess

po·et·ry·less, adjective

2. Poetry, verse  agree in referring to the work of a poet. The difference between poetry  and verse  is usually the difference between substance and form. Poetry  is lofty thought or impassioned feeling expressed in imaginative words: Elizabethan poetry. Verse is any expression in words which simply conforms to accepted metrical rules and structure: the differences between prose and verse.

2.  prose.

When i read this, i had to conclude, that in spite of my vast years of writing “Poetry”, i had to reexamine my focus and the origin of what had become so acceptable to and for me. In the “Classical” sense, Poetry is represented as something Beautiful, Lofty and Uplifting. Today we use Poetry, quite sadly i must say to also express our Angst with so many things. We utilize Poetry to express Hate, Anguish and so many other ideologies that do not connect nor speak of it’s origin. Now i am not here to represent any particular aspect or prerogative of what i think Poetry should be in effect, however i must say this. There are quite a number of Gifted “Poets” or “Writers” in today’s world, and i believe Gifts are for giving. I do question from a moral perspective simply this . . .how do we exercise the integrity of giving. And furthermore are we as Poets seeding Beauty into the Gardens of Life or something quite different. This is not to say that all poetry should be about Flowers, Butterflies and Love, however if what i have is a Gift, i must personally question “Am I Honoring it”!

Let us have a Look at the Poet . . . .


poet pronunciation/ˈpoʊɪt/ Show Spelled[poh-it] Show IPA
a person who composes poetry.
a person who has the gift of poetic  thought, imagination, and creation, together with eloquence of expression.

Enough said ? . . .

Well here it is. Poetry ultimately is delivered in Form, whether it be Prose Like in it’s Message Construction, Lyrical or Inspired Verse. Poetry in and of it’s self is very diverse. But let me ask this … because someone can immolate the structure of what a Poem looks like, sounds like, does that make them a Poet. If i draw a picture of a Car, can i drive it.

in conclusion . . . i embrace the Soul of a Poet. A Poet lives his or her art. Their Hearts and their Souls speak to them through their Minds that the message of Spirit is conveyed, whether it be beauty, Social Commentary, Entertaining, and yes Flowers, Butterflies and Love. There is a myriad of inspiration all around us, and there is no one in a position to say to another whether they are a Poet or not. In truth they know. In Truth their works will reveal that which may not be seen. If the Soul is that of Beauty, the Words will reflect such in their Wisdoms, Insights, Brotherhood, Thoughts, Messages and how they touch the Reader or Hearer. True Soul Beauty can not be hidden in the words. It is the Words and their Lyrical, Melodious congruity that exemplifies the Depth or the “LACK THEREOF” of their Creator . . . the “Poet” . . .

so . . .what is Poetry ?

(c) 6 March 2011 : William S. Peters, Sr.

1 comment:

Mykel said...

Original "Poems & Words" image can be found here by the artist and stock photographer.