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20 Definitions of Poetry

1. Matthew Arnold
Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive, and widely effective mode of saying
things, and hence its importance.
2. John Keats
Poetry is an attempt to read the beautiful or sublime without the guerdon of imagining
the logical or narrative thought process. He does not imply that poetry is illogical or
lacks narration.
3. William Wordsworth
Poetry is the spontaneous overflow the powerful feelings; it takes its origin from
emotion recollected in tranquility; the emotion is contemplated till, by a species of
reaction, the tranquility gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which was
the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the
4. Paul Valery
Poetry is an art based on language, but poetry has more general meaning that is difficult
to define because it is less determine; poetry also expresses a certain state of mind.
5. Aristotle
The existing fragments of Aristotles poet is describe three genres of poetry are the
epic, the comic, the tragic and develop rules to distinguish the highest quality poetry is
each genre, based on the underlying purposes of the genre.
6. Carol an Duffy
A poem is the attire of feeling: the literary from where words seem tailor made from
memory or desire
7. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, San Francisco chronicle.
Poetry is a sofa full of blind singers who have put aside their cares. Poetry is the sound
of summer in the rain of people laughing behind close shutters down a narrow street.

8. Robert Pinsky
Poetry is an ancient art or technology; older than computer, older than print, older
than writing indeed, though some may find this surprising much older than prose. I
presume that the technology of poetry, using the human body as its medium, evolved
for specific uses; to hold thing in memory, both within and beyond the individual life
span; to achieve intensity and sensuous appeal; to express feelings and ideas rapidly and
memorably; to share those feelings and ideas with companions, and also with the dead
and with those to come after us.
9. Anne Rouse
Poetry is about the intensity at the centre of the life, and about intricacy of expression
without any appreciation of those, people are condemned to simplistic emotion and
crude expression.
10. Frieda Hughes
Poetry is the way of communicating a vast array of thoughts and feeling by
concentrating them into minimal or even single points which describe a whole.
11. Matthew Hollis, poetry society bulletin, spring 2004
Poetry is a kind of leaving of notes for another to find the willingness to have them
fall into the wrong hands.
12. Hugh Maxton
Poetry is a fire, well blanked-down that it may warm survivor in the even colder night to
13. Charles Baudelaire, by Gustave Courbet
Prose poetry is a hybrid genre that shows attributes of both prose and poetry. It maybe
indistinguishable from the micro-story. Most critics argue that it qualifies as poetry
because of its conciseness, use of metaphor and special attention to language.
14. Dylan Thomas
Poetry is what makes someone laugh or cry or yawn, what makes someone toenails
twinkle, what makes someone want to do this or that or nothing.
15. Dave Smith, Local Assays 1985
Poetry is a dialect of the language we speak, possessed of metaphorical density, coded
with the resonant meaning, engaging us with narratives pleasure, enhancing and
sustaining our pleasure with enlarged awareness.
16. Harold Bloom
Poetry essentially is figurative language, concentrated so that its form of both
expressive and evocative.
17. Herman de Coninck
Poetry is like fingerprints on a window, behind which a child who cant sleep/stands
waiting for down.
18. Shelly, Percy Bysshe
Poetry is a record of the best and the happiest moments of the happy and the best minds.
19. Umberto Eco
Poetry is not a matter of feelings, it is a matter of language. It is language which creates
20. Mark Doty
Poetry is an investigation, not an expression of what you know.
My favorite definition is:
Poetry is what makes someone laugh or cry or yawn, what makes someone toenails
twinkle, what makes someone want to do this or that or nothing. - Dylan Thomas

Why? I think because that definition describes poetry as something that can give
powerful impact to a person. Literally, poetry is just a bunch of words which is arranged
aesthetically. But in this definition, Dylan Thomas describes that poetry is not only
aesthetic, but also impactful. Through its words, poetry can make someone laugh, cry,
yawn, can make someone want to do this or that or nothing and can make someones
toenails twinkle. Although this definition isnt really poetic, this definition is the most
relatable to me. I know it because that is what I feel when I read a poem. I can feel the
sadness, happiness and whatsoever when I read a poem and it does give a impact like
feeling melting when I read romantic poem, or feeling sorrow when I read sad poem
that I sometimes want to cry because of its relatedness with my life. That is how words
can be so powerful. Dylan Thomas not directly says poetry is powerful, but he implies
that with this definition. The most relatable definition for me.


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