Get your essays here, 33,000 to choose from!

Limited Time Offer at Free College Essays!!!


3 Pages 639 Words

Poetry, form of literature, spoken or written, that emphasizes rhythm, other intricate patterns of sound and imagery, and the many possible ways that words can suggest meaning. The word itself derives from a Greek word, poesis, meaning "making" or "creating." Whereas ordinary speech and writing, called prose, are organized in sentences and paragraphs, poetry in its simplest definition is organized in units called lines as well as in sentences, and often in stanzas, which are the paragraphs of poetry. The way a line of poetry is structured can be considered a kind of garment that shapes and clothes the thought within it. The oldest and most longstanding genres for classifying poetry are epic, a long narrative poem centered around a national hero, and lyric, a short poem expressing intense emotion.
Throughout its long history poetry has relied on evolving rules about what a poem is, with new kinds of poetry building on earlier kinds to create greater possibilities of expression. In the 20th century poets have increasingly used the language of everyday speech and created new forms that break the usual rules of poetry, such as its organization in line units. Yet to surprise a reader and evoke a response, the new has to be seen in contrast to the old, and thus poetry still depends upon a reader's depth of knowledge about the poetic practices of the past for its effectiveness. Though much poetry is in written form, it usually represents a speaking voice that is not the same as the poet's. In some lyric poems, this voice seems to speak about individual feelings; in epic poems, the voice seems to speak on behalf of a nation or community. Poetic voices of all kinds confront the unspeakable and push the limits of language and experience. The 20th-century American poet Michael Palmer characterizes this aspect of poetry when he writes playfully, "How lovely the unspeakable must be. You have only to say it and it tells a story." At its deepest lev...

Page 1 of 3 Next >

Essays related to Poetry