Posts tagged poetry
What is a Poem?

“If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” - Emily Dickinson

A poem is a way of expressing an idea that expands outside of strictly syntactic and grammatical English. It’s a very powerful tool for the expression of abstract concepts or feelings which tend to be difficult to explain. How can language express the feeling of anguish? Of ecstasy? The pain of death? Better yet, poetry is a great tool for empathy—how might my anguish read differently than yours? How might you connect with my description? Poetry is unique in that it is not always intended to be persuasive. Instead, it’s a tool that lets us abstract away the denotative to the point where others can empathize. A poem about the loss of a loved one, for instance, might resonate with many people for a variety of reasons. How it affected me, the author, is rather unimportant. Poetry leaves space between the lines for us to be vulnerable and introspect on how we can find ourselves in a piece, and it leans on metaphor to paint pictures that we can relate to and attach our own experience to.

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