What is Poetry?


What is poetry? Is the answer hidden somewhere? Is it one of those answers locked in a box
and nobody has the key? There are such questions and answers. Oh I read things as a boy that had mystery
of sound and rhythm Oh I read things as a boy that had mystery
of sound and rhythm Walt Whitman,
Edward Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost,
Vachel Lindsay, Edgar Lee Masters. Hard to say how I moved into what I wrote
that I termed “poetry” but there’s still argument about whether
it is poetry or not. Chicago Poet
I saluted a nobody. I saw him in a looking glass. He smiled; so did I. He crumpled the skin on his forehead, frowning;
so did I. Everything I did he did. I said, “Hello, I know you.” And I was a liar to say so. Compete Poems by Carol Sandburg
Little girl, be careful what you say when you make talk with words, words–
Freedom and that other word responsibility, You can’t have and not the other —
for words are made of syllables, and syllables, child, are made of air,
and air is so thin, air is the breath of God— Night Bells
Two bells six bells two bells six bells On a blue pavilion
Out across a smooth blue pavilion And between each bell
One clear cry of a woman “Lord God you made the night too long, too
long.” It was something like this in the heart of
the philosopher, who declared What can be explained is not poetry
What can be explained is not poetry

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