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What is Poetry


Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine ... Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What is Poetry

Introductions Who are you? Why are you here and
what do you expect from this session?
Pegasus The Winged Horse of Poetry
What is poetry? Who are our favorite poets? What
are your favorive poems?
How have poets defined their craft?
If I read a book and it makes my whole body so
cold no fire can ever warm me, I know it is
poetry. If I feel physically as if the top
of my head were taken off, I know that it
is poetry.
--Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
I taste a liquor never brewed, From tankards
scooped in pearl Not all the vats upon the
Rhine Yield such an alcohol!    Inebriate of air
am I,          5 And debauchee of dew, Reeling,
through endless summer days, From inns of molten
When landlords turn the drunken bee Out of the
foxgloves door,     10 When butterflies
renounce their drams, I shall but drink the
more!    Till seraphs swing their snowy hats, And
saints to windows run, To see the little tippler
    15 Leaning against the sun!
Poetry is the imaginative expression of strong
feelings, usually rhythmical. . . . The
spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings
recollected in tranquility.
--William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
The Daffodils William Wordsworth   I wandered
lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er
vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils Beside the lake,
beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the
Continuous as the stars that shine And
twinkle on the Milky Way, They stretched in
never-ending line Along the margin of a
bay Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing
their heads in sprightly dance.  The waves
beside them danced, but they Out-did the
sparkling waves in glee A Poet could not but be
gay, In such a jocund company I gazed--and
gazed--but little thought What wealth the show to
me had brought  
For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or
in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude And then my
heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the
I would define the poetry of words as the
rhythmical creation of beauty.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
The Raven Edgar Allan Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered,
weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious
volume of forgotten lore While I nodded, nearly
napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of
some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber
door "'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping
at my chamber door-- Only this
and nothing more." " Prophet!" said
I, "thing of evil--prophet still, if bird or
devil! By that Heaven that bends above us--by
that God we both adore Tell this soul with
sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It
shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name
Lenore Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the
angels name Lenore." Quoth the
Raven "Nevermore." 
"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or
fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting "Get thee back
into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian
shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that
lie thy soul hath spoken!Leave my loneliness
unbroken!--quit the bust above my door! Take thy
beak from out my heart, and take thy form from
off my door!" Quoth the Raven
"Nevermore."  And the Raven, never flitting,
still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid
bust of Pallas just above my chamber door And
his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that
is dreaming, And the lamp-light o'er him
streaming throws his shadow on the floor And my
soul from out that shadow that lies floating on
the floor Shall be
Poetry is a language that tells us, through a
more or less emotional reaction, something that
cannot be said.
E. A. Robinson (1869-1935)
Richard Corey    Whenever Richard Cory went down
town,  We people on the pavement looked at
him  He was a gentleman from sole to
crown,  Clean favored, and imperially
slim.    And he was always quietly
arrayed,  5 And he was always human when he
talked  But still he fluttered pulses when he
said,  Good-morning, and he glittered when he
And he was richyes, richer than a king  And
admirably schooled in every grace       10 In
fine, we thought that he was everything  To make
us wish that we were in his place.    So on we
worked, and waited for the light,  And went
without the meat, and cursed the bread  And
Richard Cory, one calm summer night,        15  
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
How does poetry differ from prose?
Let's look at a couple of examples, and you tell
How to End Up All By Yourself When you laugh,
those around you probably laugh along with you,
but if you are crying, people will avoid you and
leave you alone. Most people have enough
trouble of their own, and they dont care to hear
about the problems of others. When you
sing, the whole world seems to sing along
with you. If you go around sighing, you
sigh to the empty air. Those
around you dont like to listen to a bunch of
complaining. If you are happy and cheerful,
everyone likes to be around you, but if you are
sad, people avoid you. All people like
pleasurable things but dont need anymore
grief they have enough for themselves. Happy
people have lots of friends, but people who are
sad lose all their friends eventually.
Your home will be full of guests if you offer a
feast if you offer a meager meal, youll
probably eat alone. People like to be around
those who are successful and follow the rich
and famous. If you fall on hard times and
pain, people avoid you. And you must face death
alone. If your life is like good
wine, everyone wants to be around you to drink in
your joy if your life is like a bitter dose of
medicine, you end up alone. The halls of
pleasure are filled with joy and impressive
people, but as we go through the pains of old
age, our friends desert us.
Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(18501919). Laugh, and the world laughs with
you Weep, and you weep alone For the sad old
earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble
enough of its own. Sing, and the hills will
answer Sigh, it is lost on the air The echoes
bound to a joyful sound, But shrink from voicing
Rejoice, and men will seek you Grieve, and they
turn and go They want full measure of all your
pleasure, But they do not need your woe. Be glad,
and your friends are many Be sad, and you lose
them all, There are none to decline your
nectared wine, But alone you must drink life's
Feast, and your halls are crowded Fast, and the
world goes by. Succeed and give, and it helps you
live, But no man can help you die. For there is
room in the halls of pleasure For a large and
lordly train, But one by one we must all file
on Through the narrow aisles of pain.
So, what are the differences between these two
What is the purpose of poetry?
Poetry. . .
…tells a story
…expresses a deep felt emotion, sentiment or
…creates an image or picture
…has a subliminal effect on the readers
Structured verse (traditional formsforms that
usually contain rhyme, specific meters and
prescribed forms)
Lyric (expresses sentiment or emotion, creates
image or mood)
Narrative (tells a story)
Elegy Eulogy
O. K. Let's try something simple.
Haiku. . . a Japanese verse form in English, it
is usually written as a three-line poem
containing five syllables in the first line,
seven in the second, and five in the third.
Traditionally the haiku draws on some aspect of
nature and either states or implies a particular
1 2 3 4 5 After spring sunset
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mist rises from the
river 1 2 3 4 5 Spreading like
a flood. --Choro (Japanese poet)
1 2 3 4 5 A bare pecan tree 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 Slips a pencil shadow
down 1 2 3 4 5 A moonlit snow
slope. --Ethridge Knight (20th century
African-American poet)
Now, it's time to share your work with the
Some ground rules about sharing
Be positive and constructive in your comments.
Pick out something good before you comment on
what you dont understand or think can be
Respect the writers feelings
If you make a negative comment, try to tell the
poet what he/she can do to improve what you do
not like
Where do we go from here?
Shall we continue our group on a regular basis?
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