Poetry and its Characteristics

What is Poetry?

Dictionary meaning of Poetry is The art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts. According to Wordsworth  poetry is  the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.Emily Dickinson said, “If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry”Dylan Thomas defined poetry in 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.”

Characteristics of Poetry: 

1. A poem takes stanzas, meter, rhyme, strophes, quatrains, couplets, etc.

2. A poem takes figurative language.

3. A poem has a rythm- a more or less regularly patterned.

4. A poem takes a focused purpose (paints a picture, recreates a feelings, tells a story, captures a moment, etc)

5. A poem does not sacrifice meaning for rhyme.

6. A poem employs a variety of types of poetic language – similes, metaphors and/or personification

A poem takes different poetic devices such as rhythm, repetitions, alliteration.


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