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She is a classicist who pines for the days of meter and rhyme. We were discussing, "what then is poetry if there isn't metric and rhyme?"

My elder friend and I had a good discussion about what defines a poem now that much of poetry is free verse.

What is a poem? What makes a poem a poem? If you had to describe what a poem is, how would you put it into words? No Merriam-Webster please.

IvanGrowth
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A poem is a glimpse of life
filled with senses that are familiar
light we remember
longing that we can recall
calls out with pain trying to heal
uses words
words that are beautiful, evocative and soul bending

It is a beautiful picture, a work of art
done with words

Liz
who can't write poetry
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A poem is a bit of writing that is meant to evoke feelings more than thoughts.
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A poem is a bit of writing that is meant to evoke feelings more than thoughts.

Thank you for that summation. I'll have to give poetry another chance and keep this in mind.

Mark
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just now I'd say that a poem is ...
a carefully grouped collection of words - of thoughts - which is offered to others as an invitation to stop, to re-consider, to re-flect .. perhaps again ..on something they might otherwise have never bothered to see .. or too that depth or in that way -- or on something they'd thought they 'already knew' and therefore felt they needn't 'see' again.

(but ax me again later and get another pov)



nl
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What is a poem? What makes a poem a poem? If you had to describe what a poem is, how would you put it into words? No Merriam-Webster please.

I would distinguish poem from prose by saying that while both convey a meaning, a poem focuses primarily on the sounds and rhythms of words.
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So what is a poem?

Excerpt from an interview with Bly:

Interviewer: Can I ask you something about the element of sound, what it means in poems? You've been giving talks on that lately.

Robert Bly: Wallace Stevens says something like, "A poem should almost successfully escape the intellect." Only music can do that. So that if the poem has no genius in sound, the practical intellect will imprison it, so to speak, in a box and show it to visitors.

Interviewer: You are thinking of a poem as a musical event, as well as a carrier of thoughts or emotions?

Robert Bly: Exactly. Poems can become musical events in a number of ways...

Full text: http://www.robertbly.com/int_6.html

IvanGrowth
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