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What is Poetry?

Meadow337

Former Moderator
I
think
that merely
typing
with strange
word spaces
does
not
in fact make
something a poem
 
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canuck

Active Member
If the intent of the person composing the typing feels within that what they are saying is poetic to them then who is to say it's not a poem? Is there some 'cast in stone' rule which says what is poetry and what is not?
 

Meadow337

Former Moderator
If the intent of the person composing the typing feels within that what they are saying is poetic to them then who is to say it's not a poem? Is there some 'cast in stone' rule which says what is poetry and what is not?

Definition 1:
A poem is a piece of writing that partakes of the nature of both speech and song, and that is usually rhythmical and metaphorical.​

Definition 2:

A poem is an arrangement of words containing meaning and musicality.​

And a more comprehensive definition:

Poetry (ancient Greek: ποιεω (poieo) = I create) is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. It consists largely of oral or literary works in which language is used in a manner that is felt by its user and audience to differ from ordinary prose.

It may use condensed or compressed form to convey emotion or ideas to the reader's or listener's mind or ear; it may also use devices such as assonance and repetition to achieve musical or incantatory effects. Poems frequently rely for their effect on imagery, word association, and the musical qualities of the language used. The interactive layering of all these effects to generate meaning is what marks poetry.

Because of its nature of emphasising linguistic form rather than using language purely for its content, poetry is notoriously difficult to translate from one language into another: a possible exception to this might be the Hebrew Psalms, where the beauty is found more in the balance of ideas than in specific vocabulary. In most poetry, it is the connotations and the "baggage" that words carry (the weight of words) that are most important. These shades and nuances of meaning can be difficult to interpret and can cause different readers to "hear" a particular piece of poetry differently. While there are reasonable interpretations, there can never be a definitive interpretation.​

So no just writing a short piece of prose with different line breaks does not qualify.
 

canuck

Active Member
Meadow, you are quoting from what you have read. I think that poetry can be whatever that person has in mind as being poetic. It's not as if you are bound by rules unless you are entering a competition which is stringent in what it requires of the form which poetry takes. Anyone who has looked at modern art can see that any suggested rules, if, in fact, there ever have been any, of producing an art form are frequently ignored when the artist's imagination takes over, in fact, pretty much anything goes in the art world. I would propose that poetry should be accorded the same latitude, not just something that has been written down as being the correct format.
 

Meadow337

Former Moderator
Canuck, there are reasons for the 'rules' so to speak, and yes while breaking the rules is acceptable - free verse, for example, breaks more formal rules of poetic forms - but in its purest definition poetry must have some sort of rhythmical / musical cadence to it. Therefore you can not just convert any prose into poetry merely through line breaks. If the aforementioned prose already has a cadence to it, or if by inserting line breaks you create cadence, then yes it could be called poetry.

Note in the extended definition I quoted above, it notes that both user (creator) and audience must accept that it is poetry for it to be poetry.

For example:

Here is a quote from the Constitution from the United States.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.​
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.​
No amount of creative line breaks is going to transform that into poetry.
 

canuck

Active Member
Meadow: I don't think the writers of the Constitution meant it to be poetic, just instructions for setting up the government.

Perhaps any critique of other people's work can be tempered with some thought as to how the creator feels about it.
 

Meadow337

Former Moderator
um no I think the discussion was about poetry vs prose and whether or not the one could be turned into the other merely through the insertion of line breaks, which I think I just proved can not be done :)
 

Cristian Velan

New Member
A poem is something which must reflect life in a way or another. Poems where written in the past just for trying to add some 'objective' perspective about the world, but since Goethe's Werther poem / novel, the perspective moved onto a subjective one. I don't think poetry has a definition, I think is just another form of knowing the world through a much more intuitive view
 

CourtneyAsunmaa

New Member
I think poetry is mainly a way of expressing your feelings on a specific topic. Whether it be from flowers to love to architecture. It is a way of expressing your emotions on something.


Illegal Links removed.
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
When I write what I call poetry, I like to think that it has some discernible poetic qualities, even if irregular, and that the results might indeed be called poems.
Amateur "poet" that I am, I certainly recognize that better poets than I exist (and their number is indeed legion) and they might not regard me as a poet at all, or my efforts as poems. Or if poems, then no better than "very poor poems," maybe even "trash."
However, I do like many of my own attempts at poetry, and don't worry overly much about the preceding considerations. I write for me, and if I like it, it is good enough for me.
And, if I may say, there are many better poets than I am currently posting here, so I leave the field to them.
Please keep showing us your work.
:)
 

Răspunsul

Member
When I write what I call poetry, I like to think that it has some discernible poetic qualities, even if irregular, and that the results might indeed be called poems.
Amateur "poet" that I am, I certainly recognize that better poets than I exist (and their number is indeed legion) and they might not regard me as a poet at all, or my efforts as poems. Or if poems, then no better than "very poor poems," maybe even "trash."
However, I do like many of my own attempts at poetry, and don't worry overly much about the preceding considerations. I write for me, and if I like it, it is good enough for me.
And, if I may say, there are many better poets than I am currently posting here, so I leave the field to them.
Please keep showing us your work.
:)

I used to think that poems rhymed and had metre and stanzas.
Where as prose is the other stuff.
Is this too simple?
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
Here is a Google link that answers your question, probably longer than you wanted.
http://www.poetry.org/whatis.htm

I like the beginning of a different link also
http://contemporarylit.about.com/od/poetry/a/poetry.htm
It begins by saying that there are as many different definitions as poets.

But in answer to your question, it may or may not have all of that you mention, but probably has at least some of it. And probably other things you didn't mention.

My own thought is that once you can see or hear some sort of structure, any structure, you are on your way toward a poem.

But hey! Read around and enjoy yourself. I do and I'm not a poet.

And at least try "Howl."

Happy trails! :)
 

Răspunsul

Member
in answer to your question, it may or may not have all of that you mention, but probably has at least some of it. And probably other things you didn't mention.

Yes it's people's personal opinions I like to hear, not links, anyone can do that can't they?
What other things, in your opinion then?

Literary music.

That's deep Dato. I mean it opens another door doesn't it?
 

DATo

Active Member
That's deep Dato. I mean it opens another door doesn't it?
Well, when you think about it poetry is a lot like literary music .... I mean, there is classical, hard rock, ballad, etc. One must always be careful when reading reggae poetry while walking down stairs though.
 

Răspunsul

Member
Thats more or less exactly what i thought you was going to say hahaha

Well, when you think about it poetry is a lot like literary music .... I mean, there is classical, hard rock, ballad, etc. One must always be careful when reading reggae poetry while walking down stairs though.

So I've got to ask you (in fun) what about that total dross that Simon Cowell 'tells'
us we like? What sort of poetry is that?
 
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