Poetry is an attempt to squeeze a few extra drops of meaning out of a relatively short set of words.

Poetry is an attempt to express feelings and emotion in a way that is universal and profound.

Poetry is.

Poetry is a poem.
Poetry is possibly the highest artform of them all. It strives to create something - meaning - out of nothing.

The most noble use one can put language to, poetry is the pinnacle of the evolution of communication, for it communicates vast amounts of meaning through small amounts of text.

It is the best medium through which to convey and experience emotion, because there are very few logical boundaries, little or no narrative and language is put to uses which sometimes contradict every day speech - much the same way that we do in our dreams, when our mind is free of the constraints of cultural preconditioning, the need for common sense and the imperative to use communication primarily for tangible needs.

Poetry reduces language to the point where it conveys meaning only and is no longer useful to communicate information - in this it is a product of and an aid to the development of human though and our ability to deal with larger and larger abstracts. Almost as soon as you have writing, you have poetry - and, in Homer's case, probably even before that.

Public Outreach, Education, Teaching and Reaching Youth

P.O.E.T.R.Y. is the official Education and Public Outreach program associated with the NASA Imager for Magnetosphere-to-Auroral Global Exploration (IMAGE) satellite program.


The Everything Anthology of Poetry

The denizens of Everything have been noding poetry for as long as Everything and Everything2 have been in existence, both famous and not-so-famous ones. This project is an effort to collect them all in one central location.

My intention is to collect nodes of only those poets whose poetry is noded as well, and only those poems whose poets are noded as well. I consider the existence of both poem and poet nodes as sufficient proof of the popularity of the poet. They will be organized by geography, not chronology, for simplicity's sake.

This will be an ongoing project of mine, for as long as I'm on E2. When I feel the task has been completed, or that I am no longer visiting E2 often enough to keep it current, I will say so here so that it can be continued by others.

The Everything Anthology of Poetry contains, to date:

Infinite space in a straight line
phrases that rhyme, in 3 quarter time

Not Heaven, but a glimpse of where God may be
neither Hell, but a sliver of pain and deceit

Words, moods, images passing, fast
the world at your fingertips, racing past

If reality squared was put into verse
if your truth was made whole
would you spare us the worst?


Bottle your feelings, put them on lines
give us your pain, your wonder (sublime).

Give us your past, your future,
this moment
this time

Instructions to writing poetry:
1. fill in empty spaces
2. repeat

. . . is generally really really really bad. Too often, young folk (and older folk) write poetry that focuses purely on their feelings, which is cool, but it is not something that needs to come out of that one drawer in your dresser that you keep those random scraps in. (Personally, I have a filing cabinet for my writing.)

I implore you, if you feel like your poetry is something more than your feelings, that it has something to say beyond those feelings that everyone else has. Your radical ideas about your ex- have already occurred to others. There is nothing wrong with writing for yourself, catharsis is not a bad thing. If you love someone, what buisiness of it is mine? Tell them! I needn't know.

If you still want to write poetry, try something other than free verse and/or something other than standard rhyming (abab ccdd). Try writing a sonnet or other form poetry, and remember, form does not mean cookie-cutter. There are other forms of poetry. Please experiment, you can't taint yourself with experimentation.

And, please, please, if you think yourself a poet, please acknowledge that some people will not like you (as a person or a writer). You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. Sorry.


GOD to his untaught children sent

Law, order, knowledge, art, from high,
And ev'ry heav'nly favour lent,

The world's hard lot to qualify.
They knew not how they should behave,

For all from Heav'n stark-naked came;
But Poetry their garments gave,

And then not one had cause for shame.

a parable by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1816.

'And it was at that age...Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.'

From Poetry by Pablo Neruda

Poetry is my obsession. Poetry has become a part of me. It haunts and ravishes. At times when words don't come to me I feel lost, and trapped in an endless maze of frustration. It's almost a feeling of fear that embraces me when I can't write. Writer's block is my ultimate enemy, only outdone by myself. When I can't express myself I feel almost betrayed, only no betrayal I could feel in any other circumstance. Without poetry I am a wilted flower, with it - I blossom.

I've always loved to read, I can remember reading books and home when I was younger, and joining the local library so I'd have new and exciting things to read. Before long my love of reading transformed and embraced a love of writing. I wrote my first poem around the age of seven, and have developed a passion for writing ever since. I even enjoy writing essays, as much as my traditional public school education has allowed me. (Yes, I know I'm strange.)

But I'd have to say the turning point of my writing came when I began at a Steiner School four years ago. Before then I would never have believed I could work so much intensity and emotion into my writing. I never realized I could take so many feelings and express them in poetry.
On my first day at the school a dream was born. That dream was to write and get my work published - For the world to read my emotions and experiences in the form of poetry. And that dream has been embraced, and drawn numerous steps closer since then.

'Poems are not . . . simply emotions . . . they are experiences. For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and things . . . and know the gestures which small flowers make when they open in the morning. You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you have long seen coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained . . .; to childhood illnesses . . . to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel . . . and it is still not enough.'

The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

I have come to realise that poetry has as much a negative reputation as it does a positive. And I think that this is due on part to people forcing their poetry into uninterested readers faces. Needless to say, this is the wrong way to go about getting your poetry read. Save your poetry for interested audiences, or keep it to yourself.

Poetry is truly a wonderful thing. It holds the ability to stir up such powerful feelings and emotions in the person reading. Often these emotions are slightly different to those the poet was writing about. In my mind that is the amazing thing about poetry. When a poet writes in a certain way, they are able to pour emotion into their words that can be interpreted by the reader in a personal and individual way. I adore the poetry I read for this reason.

Yes, to me poetry is a beautiful thing, and I doubt I will ever stop loving it. It's in my blood. But in saying that, the world is full of people who differ in opinions about everything. Be careful, and don't leave yourself open to overwhelming criticism and rejection unless you are sure you can deal with it.
For most people poetry is a form of expression. In sharing their words they are opening their hearts and souls to the world. So a final word for those who don't see the beauty in poetry that I do. Be gentle... Hearts are easily crushed.

'Don't use the telephone.
People are never ready to answer it.
Use poetry.'

From Scattered Poems by Jack Kerouac

Po"et*ry (?), n. [OF. poeterie. See Poet.]


The art of apprehending and interpreting ideas by the faculty of imagination; the art of idealizing in thought and in expression.

For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language. Coleridge.


Imaginative language or composition, whether expressed rhythmically or in prose. Specifically: Metrical composition; verse; rhyme; poems collectively; as, heroic poetry; dramatic poetry; lyric or Pindaric poetry.

"The planetlike music of poetry."

Sir P. Sidney.

She taketh most delight In music, instruments, and poetry. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

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