What is poetry

What is poetry? Its forms, styles, meaning, backround, culture, wisdom in literature
A flying bird

What is poetry

A flying bird

~ mlaure

What is Poetry?

Wikepedia gives us a bright definition of what Poetry is with illustrations of famous poems throughout the ages. I am not going to copy that. Just give you my essence.

Poetry is an old writing form used by many writers to express an emotion, a narative, a feeling, or just a mood.

It comes in different styles and forms and some cultures have made it the art of sharing wisdom. Which is my preferred way of reading and writing.

A beatiful example of that are psalms. Written in recitation form wit memno techniques and beautiful rhymes.

I invite you to read the oldest known poems and to learn from them. Many are of an exceptional beauty and content . A gift of wisdom and love for other generations, and we are still part of those…

There was a time people only shared what really mattered. No chit chat, no blabla, no BS, … which have become far too prominent those days. Soon forgotten.

Better focus on ancient writings and learn from them.

Learn from the ancients

Poetry is an ancient art shared in many cultures, languages and traditions. It is the nec plus ultra of ancient literature and its purpose was no other than to share wisdom.

Just to name the most famous ones :

– The oldest one is the epic of Gilgamesh, known in its oldest version as the “Old Babylonian” . It dates back to the 18th century BC . It is titled Shūtur eli sharrī (“Surpassing All Other Kings”). Later versions are full of wit and wisdom and the stories still actual and refreshing . Giving us a vision of what humanity is: made of the same mud and often broken.
– Another famous one is The Mahābhārata from India. It is the longest epic poem known and goes back to Vedic times. It relates the history of ancient India and is one of the most fascinating writings of the planet. Combining an exquisite art of narrative and philosophy leaving the reader with a hunger for more.
The Illias a greek Epos. Long thought to be a fictive story and yel ful of ancient history and facts
The psalms from the Bible. Ancients songs of comfort and hope, known by many
African songs whispered at evening fires, narrating the stories of old
– The list is long…

What poetry does with us?

It is a mirror in the first place. Helping us to reflect on values and who we trully are. Placing us in the univers, part of a creation vaster than our understanding

Poetry does not explain. It reflects. It has many layers of understanding and interpretation, growing with our own maturity.

Poetry is intemporal. It is not related to a specific time. It makes abstraction of it. The word is here to stay. Now and forever.

Poetry is not the next mmo niche. It is not for sale and can not be acquired. As such it is an inspirational gift and an expression of a writing art through sounds, verses, repetitions, rhyme, rhythm, verses…

Poetry is evocative. It suggest. The reader fills in. Opening doors to many interpretations and understandings.

Poetry ages well. It remains young and refreshing.

Poetry is for all. Its allegories and style figures are so strong, they remain in our subconsciois and feed our mind.

Poetry is uplifing. It has a message of hope.

Poetry can lead to some important self-discovery. A message hidden in imagery. Not always easy to grasp.

Poetry is code… and you are the decoder!

Yes you got it, poetry is a message that you only understands. And it will be different for each of us depending of our life and age. Our cultural backgrounds. And that is its power and… BEAUTY.

Poetry today

Many hiphop songs are a kind of poetry. Some funny, some entertaining. Are they here to stay? Time will tell us.

The art of poetry is just as important today as ever, and it can help us reflect and learn more about ourselves and our place in the universe. …

For todays readers of ancient poetry it is more like a picture of stuffy old folks in leather armchairs, puffing away on their pipes and speaking in a faux British accent? It remains difficult to grasp and understand.

But that is the point, poetry does not speak to your logic mind (over active if you ask me) . Poetry speaks to your creative and intuitive mind (underdevelopped, not to say wizened and aborted).

Poetry has ignited revolutions in the past, waking up simple man in a unique understanding of its words.

A beautiful example today of that is the Portuguese poem, uma gaivota, about a flying bird born to be FREE. A powerful allegory of freedom, understood by all. It ignited the Portugese Carnation Revolution. And to be honest with you, I can not listen to the song without shivering… the power of poetry

Reduced today to a childish song. You will not find many references, nor lyrics… shame!

Better known to us the French Mareillaise, here in a beautiful unmatched interpretation by Mireille Mathieu

Poetry, its interpretation and meaning

Some assume poetry is for the cultural elite. And may be that is true for some modern delusions of the mind… . Hard to understand, kind of nihilism, all that poetry is not.

Again, the frequent use of metaphor and simile help the reader draw unfamiliar connections… …that will occasionally inspire little “eureka” moments.

But… it’s not just the content that sets poetry apart.

There are stylistic elements, such as repetition… rhyme, and meter… They make a poem feel different than prose.

When poetry got its start, it was nothing more than part of the oral tradition… …words and phrases in metered form that were passed from one person to another via easy memorization. The end of a phrase being the beginning of another…

Those rhythms and meters helped folks remember the words… …and by the time poems were written down, the art form had just kind of adopted these techniques.

That explains why poems often seem sing-songy.

Poetry is so much about inventiveness, it is tough to pin down what a poem is today.

Notes on the fridge, grocery lists, pop music… All are arguably forms of poetry. Although some are clearly more artful than others.

Let us sum up some types of poetry styles

Sonnets are romantic poems with a ton of meaning and not too many lines…

Villanelles are nineteen line poems with a rigid rhyming scheme…

Limericks are light verses that often feature a comical twist at the end.

And then there’s plain old free verse… …no rules or restrictions, just words on a page, in whatever order and length that the poet feels is necessary.

In that case, it’s all about letting the subject matter be your guide.

And for you?

So while you may feel that poetry isn’t your cup of tea …we urge you to give it a chance.

It’s not all flowery language and structured verses… …

Poetry is a special kind of writing. If ordinary writing is like talking, then poetry is like singing.

Poetry is a way of making art with language.


Poems can express huge ideas or feelings that can be about the sound or rhythm of language. Or they can be goofy little jokes. It’s like any other kind of writing.

Poems can be about everything or they can be about nothing at all. They can be funny or sad, or sweet. They can rhyme. They can very much not rhyme. And all of that is absolutely wonderful.

Some poems as condensed ideas in small amounts of text. So every word matters a lot. Like little light bulbs representing ideas.

When you’re having trouble understanding a poem, read it aloud. Part of the pleasure of poetry, is hearing the sounds bouncing around you.

Lines can be as long or as short as a poet likes.

Line breaks indicate pauses and rhythms, to change the way the sentence or the line looks on the page.

Poetry’s not just about how it sounds. Sometimes it’s about how it looks as it’s written.

Use spaces to scoot words and phtases.

Use rhyming.
When the ending sound of a word matches the other ending sound of a word, like tick and tock.

Or when sounds match each other throughout a pair of words like member and November.

Poems don’t have to rhyme.

The different types of poetry and the parts of a poem.

Great stories produce wonderful images in our minds. There are many different ways to write a story. One of those ways is called poetry, which is the writing of poems.

A poet writes lines.
The place where each line ends is called a line break.
And a group of lines together in a paragraph is called a stanza.

The voice that tells us the poem, the narrator is called the speaker.

Poems are made up of different parts.

The title of a poem is the name of the poem.
The theme of the poem tells the readers what the poem is about.
A single line in a poem is called a verse, and a group of lines in a poem separated by a space is called a stanza.

Poetry is a type of artistic writing that tries to stir a reader’s emotions and imagination.

A poet is someone who writes poetry.
A poet chooses certain words and arranges them in a way that gives a poem rhythm and meaning.

There are many different styles of poetry, often poems rhyme, but they don’t have to . Play the ball…

Many poems also have a beat or rhythm.

Sometimes, instead of a poem that rhymes a poet will use something called repetition. Repetition is used to emphasize an idea or to create rhythm notice.

Some poems play with first letters in a sentence to form a word. They are often used for anniversaries or jubilees.

The mood of a poem tells us how a poet wants us to feel .
different words can make us feel several emotions. The word fire is not enough, it needs imagery, associations and evocative sounds… igniting your imagination and creative chords.

Those words and images can also create a mood or help us feel certain emotions. Different words can help your readers feel different emotions. Poems can have different patterns or rhythms, they can be silly or serious.

They can rhyme or not in just a few lines.
A poem often tells an entire story in a few words

It does not explain!
It talks to your heart.

Master the Word

Tell me your favorite verses and poems?

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