Poets on Poetry







Poetry, I surmise, came into being with the first words of rhythm, by some primative human, banging on a drum of sorts, and I suppose after a time, it became the method to express complex emotions of the lovelorn, the limerick, and the soul searchers.  Here are a few thoughts from several great poets and thoughts on what poetry is and the elements that allow it to be called poetry. Of course what I have listed here is only a sample version of the complexities involved in understanding and writing great poetry.

‘Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.’  William Wordsworth

‘A good poet is someone who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times; ….and then…he is a great [poet].’  Randall Jarrell

In simple terms, ‘Poetry is a type of literature, or artistic writing, that attempts to stir a reader’s imagination or emotions. The poet does this by carefully choosing and arranging language for its meaning, sound, and rhythm. Some poems, such as nursery rhymes, are simple and humorous.’ www.britannica.com

‘In the case of free verse, the rhythm of lines is often organized into looser units of cadence. Poetry in English and other modern European languages often uses rhyme. Rhyme at the end of lines is the basis of a …. common poetic forms, such as ballads, sonnets and rhyming couplets.’ www.poetry.org

‘Some elements of poetry are rhyme scheme, meter …. and word sounds like alliteration. These are sometimes collectively called sound play because they take advantage of the performative, spoken nature of poetry. Rhyme is the repetition of similar sounds.’ www.learn.lexiconic.net

The following is one of my rhyming poems (sort of)


In a golden wood

Beneath a painted sky,

A paper house is standing

Beneath a satin moon,

And in the garden growing,

 Pastel flowers flourish,

And never lose their bloom,

Winter, summer, spring or fall,

As lovely as they are,

They never see a raindrop fall.

And Tiger lilies, made of silk,

Slink around a lily pond,

Of which they are, you know,

Quite fond,

As gilded Goldfish swim

Amidst the frilly lilies,

They gaze upon the heavens

Reflecting all they see,

In nature’s perfect harmony,

 All this of course,

 Is nothing more

Than pure imagery,

Yet, none the less,

 it interests me!

Copyright Karen Dowdall 2005


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