How Do You Define Poetry?

Image 1For my Children’s literature class we spent an entire week discussing poetry. It was really the first time I had discussed poetry on that type of level since I had started writing it. It, like the rest of the class, was eye opening. Poetry can be expressed and utilized in more ways than I had previously considered. It can be used to teach children to write, express themselves and to learn a new language.

I may be in the minority but I always saw poetry as this “grand” work. Now more than ever I see it as an expression of emotion that anyone and everyone is capable of making.

One of the questions we were asked to end the section was how would we define poetry?

“Poetry is a window to the soul of the poet”

“Poetry offers readers the opportunity to explore emotions, ideas and the extraordinary use of language”

“Poetry is the best words in the best order”

The definition I connect to most is that of Robert Frost,

A Poem Begins in Delight and Ends in Wisdom.

How Do You Define Poetry?


13 thoughts on “How Do You Define Poetry?

  1. Poetry is voice for the unvoiced, the unexpressed thought or feeling…Poetry is the spoon that stirs the thick syrup of soul…Poetry is how we perceive the world…Life is Poetry…A Spring day, budding apple blossoms, birds chirping…bullfrogs grumping…

  2. I believe poetry defies any definition. It adheres to no, single, rigid format, and is not bound to the conventions of what is deemed “proper grammar.” In the end, it is a distillation, or expansion, of complex emotions and ideas, usually done without any direct reference to the specific matter being written about. That’s sort of how I see it.

  3. I love reading and writing poetry. I can only define with these words that William Butler Yeats wrote a long time ago. I think the poem is titled “When You Grow Old”. He wrote that ONLY one man had loved the “pilgrim soul” in you”: To me this was POETRY at it’s best.
    This poem got me more interested in poetry than any other,

  4. “Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement.” – Christopher Fry

    “Poetry is the statement of a relation between a man and the world.” – Wallace Stevens

    “Like the onion, poetry is a constant discovery. Peel the onion, layer after layer, until its very heart is reached…it adds taste, zest, and a sharp but sweet quality that enriches our lives.” – Ruth Gordon

  5. You just gave me something to make my long essay on poetry complete!! Thanks!
    I think poetry is a unique way of revealing the world. One that allows us to reveal the unseen; and poets can see.

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