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Why We Write Poetry - Expressing Emotions too Strong Share, Without Speaking

Updated on February 4, 2014

Poetry Gives That Which We Feel - Wings

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Sites Worth a Visit To Study Poetry

What is This Poetry Thing About Anyhow?

After reading and researching the origins of poetry and why people have expressed themselves through this medium, As a reader, and someone interested I would strongly urge you to go to the website http://www.poetry.org/whatis.htm and read their excellent full description of poetry and it's history. You may also want to visit the wikipedia site which also has a lot of excellent information for you to read through and learn from. The link to the poetry section of Wikipedia is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_poetry Both of these sites expound on this topic and are extremely well written. I am not one to copy another's work and so; I have chosen to share several facts you may find interesting in my blog, some based on the research I have done and some based on my observations of the subject.

  • Poetry began long before humans endeavored to write their thoughts and ideas down. It started as a memorable way to share oral history with others and to pass that history on to future generations. Poetry was found in ancient cultures etched into monoliths and other objects.
  • Greeks are credited with being quite prolific and with writing down poetry - even so much as having coined the word "Poem" which translated to "I make or I create" (credit: wikipedia: The History of Poetry)
  • Even the Bible contains much in the way of poetry - all one has to do is read "Song of Songs" or "Psalms" or even "Proverbs". The bible had more - "epic poems" which stands to reason since generally rhyme and other literary devices entered into the equation later in history.
  • As I mentioned above, poetry did not rhyme when it began, it is thought rhyme schemes did not become a part of poetry until the English got hold of it and started rhyming. Everyone can remember the rhyme "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue..."
  • Many who study and write poetry feel that poems were really begun more or less to be similar to "song lyrics" that could be sung and thus more easily remembered and shared by people.
  • Children experience most of their first literature through poems in the form of nursery rhymes, or Dr Seuss and Shel Sliverstein. Most can even repeat these poems as adults, such is the impact and importance of this form of expression in our lives.
  • Wikipedia says of Aristotle: "Aristotle's Poetics describes the three genres of poetry: the epic, comic, and tragic, and develops rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry of each genre, based on the underlying purposes of that genre." (credit to wikipedia history of poetry)
  • There have been too many amazing poets to list however some who in my view are important to read on your poetic journey are listed quite adeptly on a site called Poetry soup - for me, Robert Frost; Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Emily Dickenson; Rudyard Kipling; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Shel Silverstein; Dr. Seuss; and Maya Angelou are heroes. Yes, of course William Shakespeare is amazing too, however more effort is required in reading his works than some beginners may wish to expend, but definitely on my list. Visit Poetry Soup to find their list of the top poets ever and to be able to click on links to their works: http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous_poets/best_poets_all_time.aspx

Digital media, blogs, facebook, and the internet in general really have brought us a revival of sorts - we as humans have found a way to share our poetry with others and the world of poetry has received a real "shot in the arm" of late. I will be forever grateful to this new interest that computers and the internet have brought to this historic and much needed and long practiced art form. My own poetry has flourished due to this ability to share with others, and the ability to read a wide variety of modern poets, bloggers and writers simply by clicking on a link - has made my life richer. I am hopeful it has done similarly for you.

A Poetic Thought I Had About The Flaws We All Possess

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Well Known Poetry Quotes

So much does poetry affect us - that writers and important people of the world have sought to express that affect in words. Here are some really lovely Quotes (credit: Authors as listed)

  • A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a love-sickness. It finds the thought and the thought finds the words. Robert Frost
  • If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. Emily Dickinson
  • When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. John F. Kennedy
  • In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite. Franz Kafka
  • Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity --it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance. John Keats
  • Perhaps no person can be a poet, or can even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind. Thomas B. Macaulay
  • Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself. He who has a contempt for poetry, cannot have much respect for himself, or for anything else. William Hazlitt

Poems Let People Express Their Deepest Feelings Safely

We all have things in our livest that have changed us - for the better or for the worse. Things so deeply felt and that exposed such raw emotion that it seems impossible to contain it within our being. These things cry out for voice, yet giving voice to them can be extremely difficult, painful, overwhelming whether in a good way or a less positive way. In the alternative, sometimes as humans we are so moved by something we've seen or heard, whether a place, a piece of music, a moment we've witnessed, that we feel compelled to share it or even to write about it, such that we will be able to recall that feeling and perhaps feel those things again or allow others to share in them. I am sure there are other reasons as well, but generally - these are some of the reasons those who use poetry to express themselves may choose to write.

Love, children, loss, life experiences, beauty or hardship, horrors or delights - all can be expressed with great clarity and feeling through poetry. Just peruse the pages of Robert Frost; Maya Angelou; William Shakespeare - and you will see what I am saying. You can palpably feel the emotions they felt, you can hear their angst or their love, you might even feel the cold of winter blowing against your skin or the breeze from the ocean as you read one of their poetic accounts of a moment frozen in time. Poetry, my friends, is a wonderful way to connect and unite us. When we read these expressions of other people's feelings, we are truly able to be with them in that moment and to share in the world together - we in fact seem to become one - and our lives become entwined. Isn't that the reason we are here? Isn't that how we become better humans? I like to think so.

I am going to share some of my own poetry with you. Hopefully you enjoy reading it even half as much as I enjoyed writing it.

A Poetic Thought I Had About Ruins

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She Is Naught But Satchel, Well Used

Such an over-worn tattered cloth, edges frayed, many miles hard traveled -

stretched and straining to carry its burdens, keeping safe and protected precious things -

small rips and yellowed with stains it is weary, yet refuses to be unraveled .


Such an over-used tattered cloth, silent companion, doing its job as expected -

unfailing and uncomplaining it works on, carrying others load to and fro dutiful and proud -

only the seams giving testimony to its struggle, its will giving way undetected.


Such an over-handled tattered cloth, pattern faded, not so lovely as it had been long ago -

left behind in the sunshine it has weathered, feigning vanity it seems not to notice its age -

somehow diminished by loss of vibrancy, and in the faded, wrinkled fabric sorrows show.


Such an over-looked tattered cloth, they hunt for it, but only when they are in need of aid -

sought and needed when purpose to serve, too easily left on the shelf, unseen and forgotten -

knowing its only value lie in what it can do, realizing it will be easily replaced, little fuss to be made.


Such an over-worn tattered cloth, feeling its softness, under kind yet offhand reminiscent caress -

so many memories in this vessel, helping and protecting, giving of itself in spite of cost to itself -

understanding that as it is with this satchel, it shall be with life, in the end but memories do we possess.

Karen Quinn 2014

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Beyond Touch - Yet Ever Present

Beyond my touch, yet ever present

you are right there in front of me, my mind plays tricks

letting me see moments in time, as though they had not passed away, with you.

Beyond my touch, yet ever present

you are right there in front of me, I can hear you

quietly walking along beside me, as though still a part of each day, a ghost.

Beyond my touch, yet ever present

you are right there in front of me, feeling you brush past

gentle pressure against my thigh, as though able to greet me, invisible.

Beyond my touch yet ever present

you are right there in front of me, my spirit senses yours

your soft brown eyes locked with my own, unconditional, even in death.

Beyond my touch yet ever present

you are right there in front of me, if only in remembrance

gone yet with me, in my thoughts, as though missing you could bring you back.

(c) Karen Quinn 2014

Singing is Life

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The Song

Notes sung in harmony

–blending so perfectly

—-almost too beautiful

——to be understood

Words sung with feeling

–touching so deeply

—-almost too tenderly

—–to be believed

Rhythms sung in union

–wrapping so gently

—almost too melodically

—–to be explained

Songs sung with love

–ending so quickly

—-almost too painfully

——to be survived

Music sung in pain

–tearing so completely

—-almost too crushingly

——to be continued

Karen Quinn 2004

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Breeze of Time

-Hear the breeze which blows past

…..bearing upon it’s wings the murmur of time

…..carrying away the secrets held long and fast.

-Feel the ripple against the skin

…..each touch reminds of those who have gone before

…..flashing scenes of so many places we’ve been.

-See the glowing flame’s peaceful light

…..the joys and sorrows which have colored our lives

…..brightening or darkening dreams that take flight.

-Smell the scent of morning’s dew kissed air

…..sweetening the once bitter sins of the day

…..leaving in their place freedom from all despair.

-Taste the subtle saltiness of the joyful tear

…..rolling down the cheek with a swelling smile

…..realizing each day brings a fresh start to hold dear.

Karen Quinn 2013

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Blue the Lilly

Brilliant flash of color

brightly dancing across once white canvas

bringing the eye and the heart bubbling joy,

blues swirl as sky and sea awakening the spirit.

Deepest darkness of shading

devoid of light it steeps the brightness in night

delighting the eye and soul with serious thought,

blue soaked in black and purple quieting the mind.

Softest swash of fluffy powder

flashes of white and light dust gently as the dawn

filling the eye and spirit with peaceful feelings

blue speckled with white and grey brings light to life.

Flower flowing with color divine

gorgeous variegated painted natural gifts grown

giving the eye and the world breathtaking beauty

blue of every shade in one place joyfully radiating outward.

Karen Quinn 2013

Original Digital Painting - Marker/Acrylic

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Flying

Flying -

racing upwards towards infinity

endlessly reaching heavenward – hopefully.

Flying -

stretching wings wide and gliding

effortlessly moving farther away – growing.

Flying -

gaining altitude and swiftness

even as they stumble in weakness – testing.

Flying -

away from us and their childhood

looking back briefly to reassure - soaring.

Flying -

into their lives lifted by wind of pride

moving toward what is sure to be – amazing.

Karen Quinn 2013

Metal and Lace

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The Growing

Planted side by side by happenstance

not a vast great plan, rather naught more than coincidence

the seeds were scattered and blown by wind and ours grew roots not wings.

Individuals

Planted side by side growing begun

fed by struggle and laughter, watered by occasional salty tear

fragile shoots stretching toward heaven side by side yet never entwined.

Separate

Planted side by side climbing upwards

climbing the solid surface, digging in and taking hold

thick vines overlapping and crossing paths though never joining.

Closeness

Planted side by side spreading wildly

covering everything within their grasp, taking possession

hiding what once was and together creating something quite new.

Sharing

Planted side by side growing dormant

seasons wax and wane slowing growth, but continuing on

the vines work well together and although they struggle they were meant to be.

Entwined

Karen Quinn 2013

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Such Is Love

Burst of perfume and brightness sudden as summer lightning.

Shower of warmth on swirl of wind caressing yet almost frightening.

All at once intense and caring assaulting the senses; such is love.


Soaring hawk upon current of heated air gloriously upward rising.

Gently falling snow on silent landscape at sunset beautifully surprising.

Thrilling yet confusing filling the mind with questions; such is love.


Crashing wave of ocean at high tide bubbling and ever swelling.

Hoof fall of wild horse in stride upon desert sand so compelling.

As the beating of hearts so deeply entwined together; such is love.


Blazing hot flame scorches all but the one it brings gentle warming.

Prayer offered silently whispered upwards of faith newly forming.

Lifting joyfully and blindly toward forever two souls; such is love.

Karen Quinn 2013

What I Liked Best

Of the poems I penned and shared with you here - which was your favorite?

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Thank You - Friend

We have shared poetry - and thus - we have become bonded in some quiet way. In sharing the thoughts and emotions of another, there is a joining.

I am grateful that you found time to read what I've written and share my art as well. I hope too, you might comment with a poem of your own creation that I may become a better human through that sharing. Please post your work in the comments below. Please also answer the poll about what you've read here. I appreciate the feedback.

Poetry - like breathing or eating - is necessary, vital to our growth. An endeavor worthwhile. Keep writing, and reading, and seeing how alike we really are.

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    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Really beautiful work, especially your first piece for me--

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Incredible hub about a form of writing that I love passionately. I enjoy your poetry, very well written and wonderful. Thank you. Jamie

    • youtalktoofast profile image
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      Karen Quinn 3 years ago from Bucks County, Pensylvania

      thank you guys so much! I appreciate that - hope you'll share your work with me too

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      This hub is a veritable feast, I'll dipping into it a few more times. Excellent work. Up and sharing.

    • youtalktoofast profile image
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      Karen Quinn 3 years ago from Bucks County, Pensylvania

      Wow that's lovely thank you so much! :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      You're a gifted poet, Karen. I had a hard time picking a favorite, as three really spoke to me: Satchel, Beyond Touch, The Growing. I can see traces of Robert Frost. Simply lovely.

    • youtalktoofast profile image
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      Karen Quinn 3 years ago from Bucks County, Pensylvania

      Made my day flouris thank you frost is my favorite poet to be honest

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