Friday, July 1, 2011

Define "poetry". Use examples.

According to Merriam-Webster online, poetry is, "writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm."

I know there a million examples of poetry out there - and I am talking about more than just quoting lines from Shakespeare or Robert Louis Stevenson.  A person needs to open up a bit and think outside their comfortable boxed definition of poetry.  If poetry really is writing that is imaginative, concentrated, and made up of language specifically chosen and arranged to create an emotional response - - that could be almost anything to anyone!  Seriously.  Song lyrics, movie quotes,  passages from novels - - I cannot even name all of the kinds of things that could be deemed poetic.  But as you might have guessed, here is a start.  Just to get you thinking...Enjoy.

Song lyrics -
'The Light' by Common:  "It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine."

'Why' by Annie Lennox: "These are the contents of my head, And these are the years that we have spent, And this is what they represent, And this is how I feel, Do you know how I feel?"

'To Make You Feel My Love' by Bob Dylan (and covered by countless others.): "I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue, I'd go crawlin' down the avenue, No, there's nothin' that I wouldn't do, To make you feel my love."

Movie dialogue -
'Chasing Amy' as Holden is confessing his love for Alyssa: "I love you. Very simple, very truly. You're the epitome of every attribute and quality I've ever looked for in another person. I know you think of me as just a friend, and crossing that line is the furthest thing from an option you'd ever consider. But I had to say it. I can't take this anymore. I can't stand next to you without wanting to hold you. I can't look into your eyes without feeling that longing you only read about in trashy romance novels."

'Under the Tuscan Sun' as she is eating a grape in an Italian marketplace: "It even tastes like purple."

'Dead Poets Society' when John Keating is addressing his students: "That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" (This addition might seem a bit cliche, but dammit, it's a good one.)

Famous quotes -
Salvador Dali: "Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings."

Khalil Gibran: "An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind."

C.S. Lewis: "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."

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