ه‍.ش. ۱۳۹۱ آذر ۱۹, یکشنبه

====== Definition of Poetry in Prose and Verse ======



The term Poetry has been possibly derived from ancient Greek word of Poieo, which means I create. Poetry is typically a written art form in which human language is used for its artistic characters in addition to, or instead of its imaginary content. According to many scholars, poetry is considered as an ancient art, older than print, older than paint, and older than writing. It is presumed that the art of poetry, using the human body as its medium, evolved for specific uses; to hold things in memory, both within and beyond the individual life span; to achieve intensity and sensuous appeal; and to express feelings and ideas rapidly and memorably
In this article the definition of poetry both in prose and verse would be presented and discussed
DEFINITIONS OF POETRY IN PROSE
It is difficult to have a single definition of poetry that fits all its varying structures, styles, and subject material. A typical dictionary might define poetry as literary composition written in verse with meaning. This simple definition only characterizes poetry on the surface, but there is so much more to poetry than just words. Here are a few examples
Cambridge Dictionary defines the poem as a piece of writing in which the words are arranged in separate lines, often ending in rhyme, and are chosen for their sound and for the images and ideas they suggest
According to Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary the poem is a piece of poetry, and the poetry is a type of discourse which achieves its effect by rhythm, sound patterns, and imagery. And most characteristically, the poetic form evokes emotions or sensations, but it may also serve to convey loftiness of tone or to lend force to ideas
The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the poetry as a writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through its meaning, sound, and rhythm. It may be distinguished from prose by its compression, frequent use of conventions of meter and rhyme, use of the line as a formal unit, heightened vocabulary, and freedom of syntax. Its emotional content is expressed through a variety of techniques, from direct description to symbolism, including the use of metaphor and simile
The Online Encyclopedia of Wikipedia suggests that the most convenient way to get to know poetry is to read poetry
Some Modernists such as the Surrealists approach the problem of Poetry's Definition by defining poetry not as a literary genre within a set of genres, but as the very manifestation of human imagination, the substance which all creative acts derive from
DEFINITION OF POETRY IN VERSE
Though it is difficult to define poetry definitively, many poets have given their own definitions in either poetical lines or in some short or long poems. American author and poet Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) wrote that, "Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths (the pleasant-smelling plants), and biscuits”. American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963) once wrote  Poetry is the first thing lost in translation. American University Professor and poetess Nikki Giovanni believes poetry can be also identified as a pure energy. Nikki Giovanni was the NAACP Image Award winner for Literature in 1998, 2000, and 2003. Here is a part of her Poetry
Poetry is motion graceful as a fawn, gentle as a teardrop
Strong like the eye: finding peace in a crowded room
A poem is pure energy horizontally contained between the mind of
the poet and the ear of the reader
American ballet performer and poetess Lydia Grace Haug, in her own verses, questions What a Poem Is? She is a graduate of 2005 from Indiana University Ballet Theater with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in English
Tell me, what is a poem: just an inanimate object, lifeless
A strand of parts, words joined together like links in a chain
One person's ideas, thoughts, passions: love, hate, sorrow, birth, death
Or a fusion, flowing symbiotically like leaves on a vine
A mystery unfolding: Tell me, what is a poem
Is it still life, dormant, asleep? Or words
Waiting to be awakened; when read, then spoken
Given voice: Tell me, what is a poem
In a Persian Poem on the Definition of Poetry by this author, the poetry is defined, among many other things, as an existing history, a river of deliberation, a space for justice and honesty, a chapter of wisdom and knowledge, a border of art, a diary of love, a faculty of literature and ideology, an ocean of care and kindness, and a gift from heaven
EPILOGUE
As already noted, it is difficult to define poetry definitively, especially when one considers that poetry encompasses varying structures, styles, and subject material
However, poetry may be distinguished from prose literature in terms of form by its smaller size, by its frequent use of meter and rhyme, by its dependence on the line as a formal unit, by its heightened vocabulary, and by its freedom of syntax. There is also a fundamental distinction between the emotion felt from reading a story and the emotions stimulated by poetry; the former is derived from incident, the latter from the depiction of feeling. In poetry, the source of the emotion is the exhibition of human sensibility; in prose, the source is merely a series of outward circumstances. Through poetry, one learns to deal with change, to come to terms with joy and grief, and to celebrate the wonder still to be found in the extraordinary energy of daily life. Because of this aspect alone, poetry cannot be limited by definitions. It cannot be communicated or comprehended other than by the use of poetry itself

Manouchehr Saadat Noury, PhD