Nice to meet you
To define Poetry, gotta say what it ain't. Poetry ain't no professor's opinion and it sure ain't no meters or feet. Poetry got no allegiance and don't fly no flag. It ain't even the flagpole! If anything it'd be the wind that gives all flags their majesty.
It'd be the thing that catches in the breath when ya say goodbye to family. Poetry'd be the look on your kid's face the first time he ties his laces. Poetry'd be your sweetheart telling you she's found someone else. It's the Fall breeze breaking Summer's hot grip. It's a friend holding your hand when you're scared.
Poetry is patient so take your time and learn what drives it and then ask for a ride. Ask it to help you through tough times, it will, and don't ever apologize to Poetry...cause it always understands. Course it does, cause Poetry is you.
Inside - Out
Definition of poetry? My heart and soul spilled across a page. A stirring from within which niggles, often driven by emotion - willing fingertips to keypad for the tap, tap, tapping which enlivens full release.
A turn of phrase composed within a shortened, metered passage, spent and spending noise and notions bumping back and forth between each brain-bled line.
Perhaps from fact - yet far more often fancifully expressed.
A lyrical, lured and loved into existence; bound to form by choice - or not. Endings and beginnings optional as fare - perhaps a poem down drops itself without regard to plot.
In short, it's all that prose is not.
I think we need a new word to define what poetry has evolved into for the majority of poets today.Is it just me, or does anyone else think we need a new word for what poetry has evolved into today?
Don't get me wrong; I love the word pictures painted by people in free verse and poetic prose, but in my mind it just isn't what I think of as poetry. While you can express yourself in single lines of haunting imagery and sharp guttural sound bites of powerful emotion and metaphor, we need a new word for this type of expression.
Maybe I'm a purist at heart but for me, to be called poetry your piece needs a cadence and a metered rhythm; this is most often induced by using rhyming end words in a number of patterns. With or without rhymes, however the poet should work at skillfully crafting images and stories using, at the minimum, a consistent back-beat. It isn't always easy, but neither is sculpting, painting or any other art form.
Not that every great poem uses iambic, or even trochaic flow - but in my opinion, without some kind of rhythmic cadence, it becomes prose not poetry.
The great poets of the past (Wordsworth, Thomas, Poe, Yeats, Frost, Dickinson, Browning and many, many more) understood this cadence building and used it to craft immortal poetry.
I guess I should blame Walt Whitman. I love the texture and emotion unfurled within me by his works, but alas his free-verse entries (like "I Sing The Body Electric") are more like bits of prose, strung on a chain.
Poetry? Sigh, that is where my dilemma lies.
Anyone have a suggestion for a new label?
Poetry is a kind of breathing. Necessary, but at times difficult. It is the choked gasp that comes at the edge of a cry. It is the long contented sigh of a child on a hot summer night lying beneath the stars, bare feet stroking the grass. It is the sharp pain of ice-cold air in the winter that thrills the lungs and makes one feel alive. Poets do not write because they want to; poets write because they have to. Could the poet not purge his words upon the page, I truly believe he would drown in them, suffocate beneath the weight of his thoughts. So it is, that when the world turns upon its axis and the lives of men go walking about, that the poet will exhale and wash the earth with new wind.
Let’s be honest.
"Poetry" is a broad term encapsulating many of the distinct and varied writing methods chosen by artistic individuals to express ideas through the written language. You could say, if you felt so inclined, that poetry is the written articulation of the soul.
But if I'm being honest with myself, I have been every-bit as moved by the use of language in prose as I have been by its use in poetry.
So, in order to distinguish poetry from other equally valid written art forms, it is necessary to define poetry as the presentation of words in a visually stimulating set of short lines, as opposed to sentences and paragraphs.
Poetry is language plunked from common place and written in a format that allows the writer to control the speed and emphasis given to each word.
With poetry, the message is stripped down to naked essentials. No excess words allowed. Each word essential to meaning, texture and flow.
Poetry exists to showcase the best and worse in one's own contemporary culture pulling it from the everyday and giving it its own page to meander into the minds of the reader in order to touch some vital common nerve, disrupting mediocrity by presenting unaccustomed perceptions of shared human experience.
Writers of poetry should be instantly recognizable, not for their form but their passionate clarity of message created from the elements as only that one poet can.
Poetry must be both personal and universal in the truth it presents with fresh, surprising, original observations. Without these things, it is not poetry.
Missing the poetry gene
Poetry intimidates me. It seems like there are no real rules, and for an engineer, that is anathema. Poetry is flowery language used to tangentially get a point across, written words that seem to trip my tongue rather than roll off. You must get extra points if the meaning is hidden in obscure references, leaving me to wonder what the real message is. I can often catch the scent of deep emotions, or profound truths, but the poem structure blows it away like a stiff breeze. I suppose if I do a forensic study, the poems will yield their story, but is it worth it? Whenever one of the Prose challenges requires a poem, I just try to make the words rhyme, and hope for grace from my readers. I guess when God was handing out poetry genes, I thought He said "poetry germs," so I said "Inoculate me instead."
Poetry is liquid; flowing freely over the eyes and nose and ears. Poetry cannot be touched, but it can be felt, it can tug at your heartstrings and the edges of your eyes.
It is not something to be described, but is like describing a feeling - say, taking a bite out of a rich, creamy brownie, or the feeling of when you spring off the edge of the diving board and feel the water slap at your skin, when the roller coaster mounts the very tip-top and plunges down.
The feeling of your heart tearing when you say goodbye, the feeling when you run through the rain to catch their hand one last time.
That is poetry, poetry makes your heart beat and slow, because poetry is feeling.
Poetry: the use of language outside of prose. But, it is so much more. It breathes life into words. It gives them hearts, and it gives them souls. Poetry allows these lines to dance elegantly like figure skaters tracing their feet along smooth ice. Like magic words, they create something out of nothing. These simple sounds sound splendidly. They bring tears, and laughter, and sadness, and gladness. They inspired our forefathers, they inspire us, and they will inspire our children. It is puzzling to ponder that even unspoken poems can create explosions. Most dictionaries define words using words in prose, but that leaves so much unsaid. In order to truly define poetry, one must use poetry itself.
Fabricate for me a vase, a loss, a victory or even the end of the world. Make these things mine so I can share endlessly but give nothing up.
Let the making be equal to the sharing and perhaps we touch the essence of poesies . To make of ones experience a relatable moment, emotion or metaphysical clone of a material
thing is art.
To do so with words is poetry . Akin to trees that colour with fruit and, heal and, puzzle us monkeys .
Apple tree. Lyrical poetry . Willow tree ..
so like all natural things there is the Golden Ratio that the eye loves and perhaps the ear too. None ,though, are exempt from a human hand to force a shape to suit it's industry.