For my final paper in my poetry class I have to answer the daunting question of, “What is poetry” in a six page essay.
I don’t even know where and with what to begin. All I know is, six pages is not enough. Poetry is so much more than figurative langue, meter, and form. It is all those things, but can be none of them at all.
I could say it derives from emotion or passion, but what about Dada Poetry?
Every definition I find and try to cement falls a part as I try to think in through. There seems like an exception to every rule, especially in contemporary poetry.
On the flip side, my definition can not be so vague as poetry could be anything. If poetry was any form of art, there would not be a separate word of “poetry.”
Dictionary definitions don’t help either. They talk about rhyme, meter, verse and say something along the lines of having poetic qualities. If you can’t define “poetry,” how do you define “poetic.” By using one in the definition of the other just looks like circular thinking to me.
How do we know something is poetry?
So I ask you to help me on this a bit… What is poetry? What is it not?