What Is Poetry Essay Research Paper What

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What Is Poetry? Essay, Research Paper What is Poetry? What is poetry? What is a poem? How can you tell the difference between poetry and prose? I usually try to provide a defintion, knowing that the definition is little more than a simplified starting point for this elusive and irresistible genre. I developed this one collaboratively with my colleague at TCC, Stan Barger, who team-taught English 112 with me several summers: Poetry is the concentrated, rhythmic, verbal expression of observations, perceptions, and feelings. Poetry looks different from prose on the page. In prose, the words go to the margin without regard to position in space. In poetry, ends of lines depend on sound, meaning, and appearance. Often, lines begin with capital letters even when they are neither the

beginnings of sentences nor proper nouns. These conventions make poetry instantly recognizable. Reading a variety of poems will help you understand both individual poems and the concept of poetry. Poetry Guidelines: Reading and Writing for Understanding is intended to give you some strategies for understanding poems. Dona Hickey at the University of Richmond and I developed Poetry Portals, a resource list of poems, poetry scholarship, poetry classes, and poetry zines, for our students and for other teachers at workshops we conduct on using computers for poetry instruction. Other collaborators recommended sites for us to include. If you suggest sites that we use, we’ll add your name to the credits. Don Maxwell at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond has been

teaching a poetry writing class, for which he has posted some electures on poetry that I recommend. Here you can read a local poet’s explanation of What Makes a Poem a Poem? and The Sound of Poetry, including a poem by and picture of Emily Dickinson, one of the United States’ earliest and best poets. Top of Page Glossary of Poetry Terms Concentrated diction and syntax: highly selective language uses few words to express many thoughts and feelings, depends on suggestions as well as conventional meanings Diction: choice of words denotation: basic dictionary definition connotation: attitudes and meanings suggested through usage or tradition or context, for example, “landlord” has one connotation to an upper middle class family, quite another to a slum family barely able to

scrape together the rent; in “Ulysses” the speaker uses “mete and dole” rather than “distribute” Usage levels Slang, colloguialisms, and other informal usages Standard usages that are acceptable in formal speech and writing Elegant “poetic” diction that may seem pretentious to 20th century readers Imagery: words and phrases that appeal to the emotions, intellect, or senses concrete or abstract concrete: appeals to senses (visual, auditory/aural, olfactory, gustatory, tactile + kinetic, synaesthesia) abstract: appeals to imagination and intellect (brutal armies) literal or figurative literal images mean what they seem to mean figurative images are not literal; they depend on comparisons and relationships Rhythm: patterns of stresses and silences in language Syntax:

arrangement of words in intentional rather than accidental patterns for sound effects (to make particular rhythmic or rhyming patterns) for meaning: to create units of expression other than standard sentences Prosody: the study of the rhythms and other sound patterns of poetry Observations, perceptions, and feelings: ideas, attitudes, opinions, feelings, stories, interpretations, explanations of aspects of the human condition Nature of these perceptions Personal: based on individual experience and reflection on that experience Cultural: experiences or feelings common to a group of people Universal: experiences or feelings common to all human beings Subjects: the literal and particular surface matter that can be summarized or paraphrased Speaker: the persona adopted by the poet to