What is Poetry?

My Interpretation of True Poetry

Originally written on PoetrySoup.com
Suplimented by Shane Brown
See end of post for reference

Poetry can be said to be a careful, inventive and creative consideration of words, written in order to convey some thoughts and meaning as a literary arrangement, but it is so much more. Usually, but not always, poems are written and designed to evoke powerful emotion, or spiritual upliftment. In essence, poetry can manifest itself as a two-word phrase, in the spoken word, or a one-thousand-page book, like the scriptures, poetry can be inspired and relevant wisdom for our day and journey home.

The word poetry comes from the ancient Greek, Poieo. Translated it means, “I create.” True poetry, when it is well written, goes much deeper than words on a page. Even God uses His words to create, as He did the earth and universe. Poetry then is the language of creation. It comes from the inspiration and gift of the Holy Spirit, through the use and experience of the artist’s life, and obedience to the truths they already know. The ability to use the written word to create, change and impress upon the heart and mind enlightenment, such is the powerful reach of words. Poetry’s use of language to open the righteous imaginations of one’s heart of hearts, and mind of minds is unique and unprecedented.

Much like sculptors who carve in stone, and painters who bring a canvas “to life,” a poet’s medium for expressive art form is unending through the written word. Poetry is an art of the heart, mind and Spirit, using both the purity of any given language to create, and bringing together light with power, truth and purity. Poetry is also a state of being, known as having and living with The Gift of the Holy Ghost. This is a gift higher than just having the presence of the Holy Ghost. This gift is only found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in which people are given the opportunity to have this gift upon exercising faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism by one holding the proper priesthood authority and keys, and being confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ, upon receiving The Gift of the Holy Ghost.

When people think of poetry, they think of rhythm and flow. While this is a widely known and accepted form, there are many types of poems that don’t rhyme or follow any direct rules. In fact, some of the greatest and well-loved poets in history pushed the limits and broke the mold of what was considered acceptable prose.

Something meaningful should not be restrained by trying to express it in a certain casted art form. Instead, think of it in this way, an apple is an apple, and a melon is a melon, and shouldn’t be attempted to be forced into a mold of any other fruit. In other words, one should not try to grow an apricot tree, by planting a peach seed, but recognize that true unity is found in uniqueness.

As a means of example, Think about doing this poetic metaphorical exercise as a test: What does it mean to try to fit a fragrant rose into a teardrop? Then try to limit this metaphor into a rigid grid, or oddly shaped box, which has no complimentary form other than conformity, to rules which don’t apply to the subject at hand. Such is the limiting methods of many formal structures. Art and creation is an individual and unique experience, and cannot be expected to fit into all the rigid rules of the early past, wherein prose were to be structured into very specific boundaries.

While there is great talent required to do so, and skilled craftsmen can do this, still, where then can be the discovery of new truths and ideas, wherein the ever changing and evolving world we live in can stretch and reach out for another era of growth and improvement.

Now consider the abilities of words to speak to us, make us feel good, hopeful, loving and faithful. Also, when something from any art medium stirs feelings and emotions, giving our imagination the freedom to roam and discover new possibilities, uplifting ideas and truths, it is considered poetic. For example, a wholesome dance performance can also be called poetical, for showing rhythm and good worthy movement, portraying a story and creating good feelings by using expressive dance, scenery, props and music. The artists, or dancers, can help positively influence other’s thoughts and emotions.

Poetry is a form of art which uses words to express, whose expression is used to reveal, interpret, and express things which would otherwise be difficult to express or understand. As an example, consider these inspired writings, all the holy scriptures were written under the inspiration of revelation, the spirit of prophecy and The Gift of the Holy Ghost. This is true poetry in the written Word.

Poetry moves, speaks and creates. The Word of God brings about change in the forming of something new and wondrous in every living soul, in every eternal moment. Whether it is in sustaining life, love, nature, humor or spirituality, poetry has been, and will continue to be used to interpret these blessings.

What life cannot easily express, poetry can. What love cannot articulate, poetry will. What nature cannot say, poetry does, in a way that does not duplicate, but compliments. Under the heavens, poetry is the great interpreter of life.

Misc. Poetry Pages

Shane

Original Source: Poetry Soup Article (What is Poetry)

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