In honor of National Poetry Month, let’s strip down to some bare ideas about the form.
Is poetry in the eye of the beholder, or are there rules one must follow in order to be one of the annointed? A poet.
Today’s writer’s craft post addresses that question, but does so by consulting some of the experts. After all, if you’re interested in writing poetry, first you must define its nature.
As mere mortals, we are always looking for rules. And with some forms of poetry, there are specific rules involving syllabification, rhyme, line length, repetition, and structure.
But other forms do not have such constraints. So before I post some how-to’s on poetry over the next several months, let’s take a look at how the masters define the craft:
“Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.” ~Paul Engle
“The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of
cheese. ” ~Gilbert K. Chesterton
“Poetry is imaginary gardens with real toads in them.” ~Marianne Moore
“A poem is a close relative of the riddle—a curiosity that invites us to unravel its mystery.” ~Leland Ryken
“A poem begins with a lump in the throat.” ~Robert Frost
“If the author had said “Let us put on appropriate galoshes, there could, of course, have been no poem.” ~Author Unknown
“You can’t write poetry on the computer.” ~Quentin Tarantino
“Poetry is a mere drug, Sir.” ~George Fahrquhar
“Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance.” ~Carl Sandburg
“A poem is a machine made out of words.”
~William Carlos Williams
So, then, how would you define poetry?
- If you’re up to it, try writing a poem in which you define poetry, or;
- Find an image that, in your mind, defines the essence of poetry
Until next week, may you be inspired in your writing.
S.J. Anderson, Foxy Writer Chick
Picture Credits (in order)
Featured Image: Missie Peters’ “Poetry in the Raw” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaEY4O-GJDI