How would you describe poetry? Poetry has been defined in several different ways. A couple, (via online dictionaries) are:
- Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm.
- the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.
My definition of poetry is the “what, where, who, when, why” without all the “ands, buts, ifs” to split the story up. But the best definition of poetry I’ve heard was penned by one of the greatest ever poets, Carl Sandburg:
“Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.”
April is National Poetry Month, a time set aside for us to celebrate the beauty of words set on the page in their most illuminating form.
For anyone who thinks poetry is all mushy-mushy-love-stuff, or just plain too hard to understand, (as I’ve too often heard), check out these frightfully chilling gems at The Academy of American Poets’ site. And keep browsing, there’s a lot more where that came from.
I would be hard pressed to name a favorite poem, or even a favorite poet as I adore so many, both past and present. However, I would like to share this short, and apt, poem by Emily Dickinson. (Emily Dickinson’s poems were not titled and are now referred to by number; this is number 1212):
A word is dead
When it is said,
I say it just
Begins to live
To learn more about poetry, and have great fun writing your own and reading others’ poems, go to Writer’s Digest’s Poem a Day Challenge. I am participating for the first time this year, (albeit privately, at least for now), and was surprised at how quickly the first day’s poem came to me. The theme was “new arrival”; rather than thinking of a baby or a new co-worker or any person at all, I immediately pictured the three full journals I have setting beside an old suitcase in which I store such, already packed with previous journals so my poem is about the arrival of “new” words, from the point-of-view of the ancient ones already settled. It was great fun to write! Today is a two-for, with one theme being “something that is bright” and the second being “something that is dark”. What would you do with that?
Do you have a favorite poem and/or a favorite poet? We’d love to hear about them!
I was surprised to discover I’ve read four novels since the last review, (not including poetry books). But finally my bookshelf has been updated. The reviews themselves are short, but there’s one you won’t want to miss so head on over.