What is Poetry?

Filed Under: Poetry

Date Created:06 Jul 2016

Last Modified:06 Jul 2016

Number of Views: 790

How Do You Define Poetry?

When you hear the word poetry, what comes to your mind? How exactly do you define poetry?


Poetry comes from the Greek word poesis which literally means: “making” or “creating”.

So now, let us see how we can define poetry.

I came across the following definition:


“The art of rhythmical composition, written or otherwise spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.”


And also this one:


“Metrical composition usually concerned with feeling or imaginative composition.”


From the above definitions, we can see that poetry consists of rhythm. This refers to the flow of words and phrases, or the flow of sound. More appropriately it refers a regular pattern in the flow of the sound. When you read a poem, you will observe a pattern in the flow; some repetition of some sort.



Read the following and see if you can observe a pattern:



A little place called home, this,
A little place, alas, but nice;
A little place where I find rest,
Ah, a little place that distills my unrest!



The term, “metrical” suggests some kind of measurement. This is true actually. The pattern of rhythm of a poem can actually be measured or classified. You have probably heard of the “poetic metre.” It refers to any form or pattern of rhythm. For example, there is the Iambic pentameter, which is discussed fully in another article.

Poetry is proverbially known as the "art of painting with words". It has the power to create vivid mental images that leave a lasting impression on the reader’s mind. Here are a few verses from one of my poems. Do they evoke any images in your mind?


The trees shed tears, it’s leaves,
Prepared for a new beginning
And once again it is beaming.

Once my delusion proved false,
My love lost, no trace;
Shed tears, an avalanche too
Dried they, before they grew
And none them saw.




The first description above shows that one of the major reasons for composing poems is for "exciting pleasure".Reading poetry should thus be pleasurable, or fun. Poetry has the power to excite an individual in a manner that prose can never do. seriously, lay off that skepticism and try it!

Ah, I am certain you can now define poetry! Greeeat!!!

So there! I'm sure that my concise description has given you an idea of what poetry is and what you are getting yourself into: a truly wonderful world!

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