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What is Poetry?

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Wyndemere Coffey

on 4 December 2014

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Transcript of What is Poetry?

What is Poetry?
There are almost as many definitions of poetry as their are poets.
So what do you think poetry is?
So what is poetry?
We do know a few things about poetry.
So do you have
a definition
William Wordsworth
defined poetry as:
"the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings."
Dylan Thomas
defined poetry
this way:
"Poetry is what makes me laugh or cry or yawn,
what makes my toenails twinkle,
what makes me want to do this
or that or nothing."
"Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder,
with a dash of the dictionary."

Audre Lorde thought poetry was this:
"Poetry is not only dream and vision;
it is the skeleton architecture
of our lives. It lays the foundations
for a future of change, a bridge
across our fears of what has never
been before."
Qwendolyn Brooks felt this about poetry:
"Poetry is life distilled."
Homer's epic poem, the Odyssey, described the wanderings of the adventurer, Odysseus, and has been called one of the greatest stories ever told.
John Milton, Christopher Marlowe, and
Shakespeare have all been held up as the
epitome of poetry, and their works fill
hundreds of textbooks.

Is poetry
only for old, educated, white guys?
What do you think?
Maybe the most accurate definition of poetry is that it
be defined.
Seems to me it's about time somebody wrestled poetry to the ground and tried to figure it out.
"One of the most definable traits of poetry is economy of language (saying something using very few words). Poets are cheap and critical in the way they write out words on a page. Carefully selecting words for shortness and clarity is normal for all writers, but poets go well beyond this, considering a word's emotional qualities, its musical value, its spacing, and yes, even its spacial relationship to the page (how it LOOKS)."
Let's look at that again
"One of the most defining traits of poetry is...
Economy of language
Poets are cheap and critical
in the way they write out words on a page.
Carefully selecting words for shortness and clarity
is normal for all writers,
but poets go well beyond this.
Poets consider a word's
emotional qualities,
its musical value
its spacing
and yes, even its spacial relationship to the page.
(How it looks.)
So why write poetry in the first place?
To express yourself?
For fun?
To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music that words make.

Truman Capote

To fight injustice?
For love?
Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.

Ray Bradbury

Khalil Gibran
said this about
Some would argue that poetry is the
language of the people.
What is poetry?
You tell me.
Define poetry. Tell me what it is
and what it is not.
Be specific.
Give me examples.
You must create an artifact to
display your definition on.
Want some ideas?
You could create:

A comic strip
A collage
A rap
A poem
A painting
A Powerpoint
A short film
A sculpture....
Now for the
nitty gritty
This is due next at the end of the unit. For now just think about an idea and I will give you a handout later on with more details:

This is homework, so we will
not work on it in class.

You will be graded on:
- Your definition
_ Your creativity
_ Your effort

You will not be graded on how
many expensive materials you use.
What that means is:

Hard work and critical thinking
will get you a better grade than a
trip to Micheal's and little effort.
Now it's your turn.

Surprise me, delight me,
answer the age old question:
What is poetry?
Inspired by:
Wyatt, Jennifer. "What Is Poetry?"
Prezi.com. N.p., 06 Feb. 2012.
Web. 12 Jan. 2014.
Full transcript