Monday, January 4, 2010

Defining Poetry

Find and discuss a definition of poetry that we haven’t discussed in class. Feel free to agree or disagree with the definition. Avoid dictionary definitions. Look for definitions by poets or writers.


bservodidio said...

"Poetry is the silent voice that is heard everywhere inside of us..." - Unknown

I completely agree with this definition. Often times poetry is very emotional and shares the deepest feelings. Many people don't wear their heats out on there sleeve's, so instead they may go home and write a line or two about life or use poetry to relieve stress. I don't write poetry, but i know people who do, and a lot of the poems I've heard are very deep and powerful at the same time.

"In poetry, syntaxes have little meaning, the order of the words is the order of your heart." - Peter A. Rosado

This is just merely another example of what i just said, just in different words.

MMiller said...

There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either. ~Robert Graves.

I partially agree with this definition. I disagree, because in a literal way, poets make a lot of money. People like to hear poetry, and it makes them happy. That is the only point i disagree with. However, I agree with the poem as well.

I agree with the no money with poetry as well as disagree with it. If money was a symbol for the evil things in life like power, then that is very true. Poetry is always good and tells the truth. Even the dark poems that we have still convey a message that is suppost to be good. The last phrase I totally agree with. Money is a solid, hard thing that has no feeling to it. Poetry is the exact opposite. It flows, and has a relaxed feeling to it.

Sasha said...

"If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry."
~Emily Dickinson
I agree with this definition; Poetry is written for people to relate to, and to look and think 'oh yea i know how that feels...i can totally relate'. It is supposed to make you feel different, not like you do when you read a short story or novel. It is supposed to be the outpouring of feelings, not merely words set down on paper. The words should sweep through you, with the raw emotion getting through to you as mich as possible.

cswift said...

"Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted." ~Percy Shelley, A Defence of Poetry, 1821
This definition of poetry has many meanings. It explains how poetry can make such a horrible situation, sound so meaningful on a piece of paper. No matter what situation you're in, writing down your feelings can sound wonderful in some way. For example, there are many songs that have secret meanings behind them which can be actually very sad, but still the song is amazing. Being able to relate yourself to a poem makes it beautiful. Even if it's not the same relation as the song actually means, it can be almost whatever you want it to be.

"A poem is never finished, only abandoned. ~Paul Valéry"
I like this quote because it explains how emotions can never fully be explained. Poetry writes down how you feel, but there can always be more. If you are writing about something that has happened to you, you can write a poem about it, but there will always be more that could be said. Feelings are more than words can say. They go deep and really explain an idea.

mriposta said...

William Wordsworth said "poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity."

I agree with this definition of poetry. Poetry is based off of emotions and feelings, usually very powerful ones, that you are feeling all at once. Wordsworth was very interested in the calmness and beauty of nature, which is what he wrote most of his poems about. That is why he says that it is recollected in tranquility, because he believes that sitting in nature and just letting yourself listen to it and watch it and be peacful will help you write a good poem. However, this doesn't have to only apply to nature. He is generally saying that poetry shouldn't be thought about; it will come to you when you are peaceful and the words will flow out of your emotions.

ctino said...

"Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary." ~Kahlil Gibran

I truly agree with this definition of poetry. Gibran is able to capture that poetry is mainly based off of emotions. In poems, often times the author will incorporate his or her inner emotions. It is mainly based on the personal feelings found within the author. They can be intense emotions, as mentioned as "pain", or more relaxed emotions, such as "joy". Either way, poems are often the escape for someone to release their feelings.

Another aspect of this definition I agree with is how there is wonder in poems. Although I am not someone who particularly enjoys poetry, some poems leave me feeling wonder at the fluidity of the author's word choice. The combination of certain literary techniques, such as metaphors and similes, can leave for a move deeper meaning than just saying what your point is. The magic of a poem is often very mystifiying when a poem is graceful and fluid. This also covers that last aspect of the definition, that they embody "a dash of dictionary". The phrases a poet expresses are often hard for others to say plainly. Poems have a certain rhythm in most cases, as shown by their word choice. Rhyming poems choose words that flow. In many poems, the diction is often very graceful and flowing.

ecrespo said...

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history. ~Plato, Ion

I do not agree witht this definition or saying of poetry. My main argument is that people have their own opinions on things and opinions usually affect your emotions. Poetry is based on emotions and thoughts and both of these things are normally far from the truth. People's emotions tend to blind them from the truth which causes them to write more about what they are feeling and not what is true. This defintion is completely false because history is a documented thing. Not an opinion or made up thing.

shuber said...

"Poetry is what gets lost in translation." ~Robert Frost

I believe Robert Frost is right because to me, he is saying poetry is what one has to say that isn't meant to be broken down and analyzed until it comes out to this specific meaning. Like a translation, the words get broken down to find out their meanings, which is what Frost says poetry is not. It's not meant to be looked into. And when we don't translate, we let the words interpret themselves.

"The poem is the point at which our strength gave out." ~Richard Rosen

I also think this is a good way of describing poetry because it says that poetry is basically the point when we just don't want to be held back, we want to let out our feelings and have it be read in a flowing way. It's when we don't care who knows what we have to say.

icalo said...

"Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response" Mark Flanagan.

I do agree with this definition because it says that poetry is something that is written about different things that are interpreted by different people. For example, the poem by Anne Sexton called "The Starry Night" is Anne's own interpretation of the painting by Vincent Van Gogh. She says that the painting is really of a "drowning women". She interpreted the tree trunk as the women's hair and that her body is cut off. In her poem she says that the woman in the painting died in peace and that is how she wants to die. Anne Sexton might have had an experience that has affected her in a way that she interprets things differently. I also believe that poetry is based off of things that have influenced writers. For example, friends, family, religion, experiences, and society can influence writers and anyone in a good or bad way.

mparker said...

Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted. ~Percy Shelley, A Defence of Poetry, 1821

I like this definition alot. I think it makes poetry sound beautiful, and being a fan of poetry, I agree that poetry is in fact beautiful. Poetry can make even the worst events sound somewhat nice and beautiful just because of the words they are written with. If something is bad, or distorted, poetry and the words put into it have the power to make it beautiful and worth reading. I love this definition because poetry is beautiful and this is just another way of proving it.

pruvane said...

"Poetry is like grasping the wind, once you catch it, it is no longer wind." - Mark Flanagan

I find that this definition suits poetry more over than others. As poetry cannot be tagged or labeled by one simple phrase. Poetry is too broad in its genres and sub-genres, and its variety is what makes it so hard to pin a definition on it. That is one aspect of this quote. As for the other, Flanagan is talking about what we had covered in class about poetry. It is that poetry, of any kind, cannot be summed up by a sentence or two. It can't simply be cut open and dissected in order to find the correct answer behind all of the words, because there is no answer. Poetry is more complex than that. There is no perfect equation to find the all over grand point to a poem. It is just like coming up with more and more complex ideas for catching the wind. Its best just to have interpretations of excerpts, just as it is best to let the wind blow. One can't catch wind, and one can't catch poetry.

Anonymous said...

Poetry is "the art of employing words in such a manner as to produce an illusion of the imagination" - Macaulay

I agree with this definition because poets have the ability to put words together to make them sound magical. They use their imagination to paint a beautiful picture for the reader to imagine. Poetry is the author's emotions expressed in a rhythmic way. Poetry is beautiful because the poet uses their imagination to piece words together in a free flowing yet very strong way.

Barbara Hyett defines poetry as "the art of saying everything and reducing it to nothing".

I also agree with this definition because poetry is just a few words with such a deep meaning. Poems can be only a few words long yet they can be so powerful. Poets put so much emotion into their writing that just one word can mean so many things.

EYanowitz said...

"Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition." -Eli Khamarov

I agree with this definition in its entirety. In this definition Eli says that poetry is the usage of words to prove something other than their meaning. In his definition, a poem may say one thing but really mean another. Although I do like Eli's definition of poetry, it does annoy me that he tried to sound poetic in his definition instead of litterally saying, "poetry is the usage of words to prove something other than their meaning".

The reason I chose Eli Kharamrov's definition over that of anyone else is because he as the only one able to literally define what poetry is. Carl Sandburg, for example, thinks "poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes". That is great, Carl managed to define poetry as something that doesn't make sense. He tried to sound poetic, he didn't actually attempt to prove what poetry really is. Marianne Moore's definition is similar in its lack of an actualy definition. She thinks poetry can be defined as "imaginary gardens with real toads in them". That is another great example of a poetic interpretation of poetry, but it didn't say anything besides poetry is something that is impossible or crazy. Although a lot of poetry is in fact crazy, it certainly isn't impossible to understand or to create.

Celia said...

"Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself"
-William Hazlitt

I like this definition because it describes poetry as a person's feelings and describes it as very personal. I agree with this because people write poetry about something they are feeling. That is what makes it different then novels or short stories because they can be about anything.

NJacobson said...

'Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.'


I like this definition a lot. Eliot first says everything everyone stereotypes a poem to be, then he writes what he thinks it really is. He says it is not the pouring out of your emotions but escaping your emotions. Getting away from them by writing in different emotions. He says you are not pouring out your personality, but imply escaping it. Eliot obviously believed poetry was an escape in his life. I completely agree. I find it relaxing and it takes me to a whole different world. I put myself in the place of the poem.

galfieri said...

"Poetry is a man's rebellion against being what he is." -- James Branch Cabell.
I liked this quote because I think that is shows that poetry is one of those things that enables writers and everyday people to rebel and step out against what is normal. Poetry has the power to make a statement and to have a different look at the world from someone else's perspective. It says that poetry is speaking about being who we are and the things that surround us.

"Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." - Thomas Grey
This was another quote about poetry that I found thought provoking. I think it describes poetry in a perfect way. Poetry is essentially thoughts that come alive on piece of paper. The words that are used in a poem have the power to "burn" or effect and change the people who read it.

mrusso said...

"Poetry is the evidence of life" - Leonard Cohen.

Taken literally, I do not agree with this definition. There are many other ways to gibe evidence of.
Taken not-so-literally, it could mean the poetry shows the "life" in some people. It could be saying that books and novels and short stories do nmot allow an author to express him/herself like poetry. I do not agrere with that because any type of writing can have emotion without being, as Eric said, "frivolous".

ajustl said...

Imaginary gardens with real toads in them. ~Marianne Moore's definition of poetry, "Poetry," Collected Poems, 1951

What Marianne is saying is that poetry is slightly imaginary things with real life problems. Poetry, for the most part is exhagerated. This makes it imaginary in a way. No matter how exhagerated it is, the poetry will have a real life theme or problem. I agree with this definition because poetry is never 100% true to life happenings as written.

CConklin said...

"Poetry is what gets lost in translation" -Robert Frost

Although this is a very vague definition of poetry, there is still alot to be said about it. A poem can say whatever it wants to. It can tell us about love or nature, and sound very pleasing to the ear. However, most poems are much deeper than just pretty words on paper. The beauty and power of poems is exactly what Robert Frost says, "..what gets lost in translation". What I believe this means, is that the art of poetry is whatever message we are getting from the poem. Poetry is what we translate it to be and the symbolism in the words that become very significant to us, and not always just the nice rhymes, word order, and patterns.