THOUGHTS ON POETRY

I am reblogging this from something I wrote and posted almost a year ago. It seems that springtime is the time for poetry, when love blooms in the air. 

What is poetry and its place in the human psyche? Poetry and prose, I believe, magically transports the reader to visualize vividly a very personal place in time, bringing to life every possible emotion seared into the psyche that the reader may have experienced in real life, wished for, dreamed of, or feared.

This is what makes poetry so emotionally beautiful and painfully true. We get it and it can be transforming. But, where does poetry fit in, in the whole scheme of our human experience. Poetry reflects our romantic inclinations, our troubled history, our social truths, politics, and the most beautiful of all philosophies – who and what are we anyway, in the scope of all there is under Heaven and Earth.

Poetry is romantic. The great writer and poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley said, “Poetry is a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it.”  It is, also, I believe, as Robert Frost wrote, “when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”

Poetry is more than a history of human desires. “Hence poetry”, wrote Aristotle, “is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are rather of the nature of universals, whereas those of history are singulars.”

Poetry is often compared to the ultimate in what is truth. “Poetry, wrote Joseph Roux, “is truth in its Sunday clothes.”  Leonardo da Vinci, believed that, “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.” John Ciardi wrote, “Poetry lies its way to the truth.”

Poetry is political. “All poets, all writers are political”, writes Sonia Sanchez, “they either maintain the status quo, or they say, ’Something’s wrong, let’s change it for the better.”

Poetry is also philosophical. John Lennon believed that, “my role in society, or any artist or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”

However, even though all the above quotes bare witness to the impact of poetry and prose on the human psyche, yet, no one has described and defined poetry and prose as beautifully as William Shakespeare, who wrote that poetry is,  “The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, doth glance from heaven to Earth, from Earth to heaven; and as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing a local habitation and a name; such tricks hath strong imagination.”

Poetry and prose, I believe, represent the wonder of human imagination and all that lies between heaven and earth as we struggle to understand what it means to be human in a world that is constantly changing the definition of what is humanity and what it is not.

by K. D. Dowdall

 

 

Published by

K DeMers Dowdall

Karen DeMers Dowdall was born in West Hartford, Connecticut. She has lived in Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and England. Karen has a PhD, MSN, BSN, RN in Nursing from Florida Atlantic University. “Books of every genre teach us about life, how we think, and view the world." She has written poems and little short stories since she was a child. Karen loves art, she enjoys drawing, painting in oils, pastels, colored pencils, and doing portraiture. She has also taken ballet, Jazz, and modern dance since she was three years old and owned her own dance studio.

35 thoughts on “THOUGHTS ON POETRY

      1. thanks Karen, poetry allows us to express in words what needs to be heard or expressed, it always has an insight, and in a very busy world, we need to stop and listen, blessings

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Your article brought back the first day of British Romantics class in college as the professor explained that these poets were using poetry in an attempt to express the ineffable, even though it truly can’t be done. And I sat silent at my desk saying, yes, yes, yes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liz, thank you for your very astute comment. Well, I think your professor was wrong. Poetry tells truths where none can be found in history, politics, philosophy, or psychology. Poetry is a profound human insight about humanity, the world, and the universe. When other beliefs are forgotten thorough the centuries, poetry still remains profoundly relevant. Karen

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, Karen. I agree that many truths cannot be found other than in poetry. At the same time, I find very appealing the notion that there are some human experiences so transcendent, even poetry can’t adequately express them–but the poet’s attempt is transcendent in itself. Liz

        Liked by 1 person

    1. K. A., thank you so much for your lovely compliment, and so appreciated by me. You are very kind indeed. I love poetry too and there is something about it that stays with a person long after it has been read. Poetry changes people’s hearts and souls. I thinks so anyway. Karen 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.