I recently read an article titled, "The Poetics of History from Below." In it, the author quoted Ann Lauterbach: "Poetry is the aversion to the assertion of power. Poetry is that which resists dominance."
Interesting quote. I read it as meaning poetry is a political statement--be it the politics of a two-person relationship, the politics of society, or everything in between. Did you read it differently?
Many have attempted to define poetry. Here's the Dictionary.com definition:
1. the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.
Here is a sampling of "Poetry is" quotes from poets themselves:
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Poetry: the best words in the best order.
Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.
Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.
Robert Frost had several interesting definitions.
Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.
Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.
J. Patrick Lewis
Poetry is the tunnel at the end of the light.
Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.
Edgar Allan Poe
Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.
Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.
Here's my definition: poetry is a story told without the clutter.
Everyone must come up with his or her own definition of poetry. What's yours?
If you're not sure what poetry is, I'm sure you'll have a better idea after you visit the other Poetry Friday postings rounded up by Libby at A Year of Literacy Coaching!
Photo by pindec.