Wednesday 15 June 2016

What Is Poetry?

I like poetry. You may've noticed this. You may not have.

But a lot of people don't read poetry. They feel like they don't 'get it' or even know what 'it' is.

So, what is poetry?

The Simplistic Answer

Poetry is a form of literature. It usually has shorter sentences than prose (but not always, because is life ever that simple?) and is arranged in lines.

Sometimes it rhymes. Sometimes it doesn't rhyme. Sometimes it has a regular rhythm - and sometimes it doesn't.

Basically, poetry is relatively short lines, usually conveying emotion of some description. Apart from that, the definitions are vague at best.

The Hippie-Dippy Answer

Warning: Some of this may be a bit sarcastic. Not very, because I have respect for the peace n love vibes from hippies. And my upbringing was a weird mix of traditional, intellectual, and hippy bat-sh** craziness.

My parents are quite normal when you meet them... honest.

Poetry is the breath and essence of life transformed into words. It's freedom and love translated onto the page.

But it's not constricted to the page - poetry can be anything, anywhere.

It's something you feel in your eternal spirit, and something which washes over you in waves of light-energy. *Laughs at self.*

(Ready to start singing kumbaya yet?)

(I can kind of relate to this gif - although not to the drugs part.

But I've def. seen the inside of too many shops that sell incense. Incense and sandalwood. Everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

Most people's early shopping experiences aren't accompanied by New Age pan-pipe music, but whatever...)

The Pretentious Answer

Warning: This section is highly sarcastic. ;)

Poetry is an art form which the lower-classes (anyone who couldn't afford private school) are unable to comprehend because we have tiny minds.

Poetry can only be written by poncey middle-aged white men in dusty literary studies, because clearly they are the only people who could possibly understand it *eye roll.*

Poetry should only be read by people who adore the poncey middle-aged men, and will faun over them and never question anything they say, and believe they are the greatest artists who ever lived. *Bashes head against laptop.*

The Honest Answer

Poetry - good poetry at least - is not something that you get. Good poetry gets you.

Poetry is simply lines arranged on a page, that, if the poet's done their job right, mean something to you.

Poetry can be written by anyone, and read by anyone. It's about whatever you want it to be about.

And never let anyone tell you anything different. If you can appreciate song lyrics, if you can appreciate prose, film, music, dialogue, anything, on any level, then you can appreciate poetry. Screw the shamers.

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  1. I love this post. I always thought that I'm not a poetry girl 'cause I imagine poetry to be strictly Robert Frost, Shakespeare's sonnets type of things. I recently had a discussion where we talked about how song lyrics are pretty much poetry too, and I've always appreciated those. So maybe I am a poetry girl after all :)

    1. Everyone is a poetry girl! (Except the poetry boys, and other poetry people elsewhere on the poetry gender spectrum...) XD

  2. I really loved this post, Cee! I wish I could get more into poetry, it's a great gift to the world, it truly is.

    1. I'll try to be more poetry-ish on the blog - cos I really see no reason for it not to be inclusive. Vive la revolucion!!!!! (Coffee? Me? Pshaw!)

  3. Lovely post! "Good poetry gets you." I love that - so well said! I need to work on reading more poetry anyway. Thanks for reminding me ;) I want to get Rupi Kaur's milk and honey because I just read a lovely review of it!

    1. Why thank you! *Bows elaborately*

      If you like poetry, READ JAMES FRANCO'S STRAIGHT JAMES/GAY JAMES. Dude can write. Like, wow! James Franco can act, direct, AND write intensely beautiful poetry! I love that book.

    2. Really?! Okay, I'll add it to the list! sounds awesome :)

    3. *cackles evilly at converting another to Franco* :)

  4. Haha I loved this! Also, looking at the comment above- JAMES FRANCO IS A GENIUS. GENIUS. No joke. He has like 5 degrees from like insanely prestigious colleges. Anyway, back to the point:
    I am actually off to a camp to specialize in poetry in a few days and am a little terrified. Because poetry cannot be understood and put into words, you know? It's just a feeling, a shared language, communication in a very exquisite form.

    Great post!
    Kate @Read and Dream

    1. Thanks! :)

      And yes, James Franco is awesome. XD

      Ha, sounds like fun. Just chill, enjoy, and maybe take the hippie advice a little ;)

  5. I really liked how you gave difference answers to what really is poetry. To me, poetry is emotion in the form of words. Whenever I feel emotional about something, or just have an opinion I need to release, it always comes in the form of a poem.


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