Sitting at a barbeque, at the weekend, a guest turned to me and said “I hear you’re a poet.”
A conversation ensued which led to me showing her the Inside the Mind of Davy D blog.
After a short while browsing on her phone, she turned to me and whispered,
“That’s not poetry, it’s just words and pictures……………. and it doesn’t even rhyme.”
Before we got to the “How many books have you published?” question I thanked her for the feedback and went and got another glass of Malbec.
In fairness, she had a point and raised a good question, what is poetry?
Standard dictionary definitions show poetry as;
1. The art or craft of writing verse.
2. Literature written in meter; verse.
3. Prose that resembles a poem in some respect, as in form or sound.
4. Poetic qualities, spirit or feeling in anything.
Ask five poets to define poetry and they will give you five different answers.
To complicate matters further the website Poem Of Quotes lists 55 types of poetic form, ranging from ABC Poetry to Visual-Concrete Poetry.
So how do we establish what is poetry, and does it really matter?
Each week I read and enjoy many forms of poetry, some of which break the boundaries of what is considered to be conventional poetry. In my view, the most important thing should be the impact, thoughts and emotions the poem (in whatever form) leaves with the reader.
As William Wordsworth said, “All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of feelings.”
What are your thoughts on what is, or is not, poetry?