Poems and Poetry - The Heart of a Poet
Poetry Has Form and Structure
Poets have been writing poetry since time began. Poems begin in the head and heart, not with the pen. A poet is not necessarily someone who writes poems, but is someone who sees the world poetically, and is able to express it by way of language.
Most people can compose a poem, but the simple act of writing doesn't make a poet. A poet looks at the world and sees poetry, in everything, and is able to express it with specific language. A visual artist may see the world through images and is able to express it with paint. A musician may hear the world and express it with sounds.
A poet therefore, must be able to use language to convey emotion, depth, reality, fantasy, hope, despair, love, death, illusion.
Without poetry, humanity has nowhere to hang its soul. A good poem can give us hope or laughter, tears, joy. A great poem can remind us of the magnitude of life itself. Life is so multidimensional, if we dare to enter into the life of a poem.
How Is a Poet Inspired?
The poet has the task of crafting language in order to give inspiration, in whatever form, to the reader. The world is the poets canvas. There are some poems waiting to be born, begging to be written. A poet will know when this happens.
A poet can be inspired at any moment, in the most unlikely environments, by the most seemingly, non-poetic topics or situations.
It could be the look in the eye of a passerby, or the sound of an unrelenting wind, the horrific image of a war torn road, the causal glance into the blue of the sky, the complexity of disease or famine, the beauty of love or its painful departure. Poetry is the ability to express what readers need to feel.
Part One: Life ~ V1~
"If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain."
Emily Dickinson ~
The heart of a poet belongs to the world. A poet writes for the masses realizing the reader is an individual. Once the poem is written and published for others to read and discover, now the poem belongs to the reader.
It is this relationship between the reader and the poem that is the very heart of a poet. A reader will bring what he brings to the poem and make it meaningful. The poet’s work is accomplished. A poem is like any work of art in this respect, it has individual meaning in understanding and perception.
What Is the Heart of a Poet?
I have written poems in which readers assumed I was writing about a personal experience. This is certainly not the case. A poet must be able to write in such a manner that it conveys a real experience that may be universal in feeling. And of course, poets will use real life experiences as inspiration, and yet be able to separate themselves from the poem and appeal to the whole of humanity.
Composing a poem requires skill, knowledge of language, styles of poetry and figures of speech, feeling, and a selflessness, wanting to express. A poet must read poetry.
A Noiseless, Patient Spider~
" NOISELESS, patient spider,
I mark'd, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark'd how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them--ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, --seeking the spheres, to connect them
Till the bridge you will need, be form'd--till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul."
Poetry is the lifeblood of civilization, giving it meaning and reason, hopelessness, joy, depravity, serenity, humor, recklessness and abandon, humility, compassion, love, death, life, a sense of purpose. The heart of a poet weaves a thread of humanity throughout the world. Enjoy it, read it often, compose it with love and respect.
How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry - Ed Hirsch
This is an excellent book written by the well-known poet-teacher, Ed Hirsch. Reading it will both educate and inspire those who read and write poetry.
The Raven - Edgar Allen Poe - (a favorite of mine)
Poems and Poetry Links
- Iambic Pentameter & Chaucer « PoemShape
The trick to recognizing Chaucer’s use of Iambic Pentameter in Canterbury Tales is in knowing how to pronounce the words.
- Poems and Poetry - Books, Literature, and Writing - HubPages.com
Poems and poetry have a long and respected tradition as an art form. Poetry is certainly one of the more interesting art forms. The rules of poetry can be difficult for a novice to grasp.
- How to Write Poetry - Creative Writing Lessons
How to write poetry - a step-by-step guide. Free writing lessons for new authors. Learn creative writing techniques and how to avoid common mistakes.
- Great Poems to Teach- Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More
A resource from the Academy of American Poets with thousands of poems, essays, biographies, weekly features, and poems for love and every occasion
- Edward Hirsch- Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More
Edward Hirsch was born in Chicago in 1950 and educated both at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph.D. in folklore.