Sunday, December 1, 2019




“He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life.” — George Sand, from The Devil's Pool.

“It is a test [that] genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” — T. S. Eliot, from the essay "Dante."

“To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.” — Robert Graves.

“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.” — William Wordsworth,

Poetry has been described as " literature that evokes a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response through language chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm."

The earliest poetry is believed to have been recited or sung, employed as a way of remembering oral history. Poetry in its earliest form exists in the form of chants and hymns Many of the poems surviving from the ancient world are recorded prayers, or stories about religious subject matter, but they also include historical accounts, instructions for everyday activities, love songs, etc. A rhythmic and repetitive form would make a long story easier to remember and retell and many ancient works, like the Vedas and even epics like Iliad and Odyssey appear to have been composed in poetic form to aid memorization and oral transmission.

Classical thinkers employed classification as a way to define and assess the quality of poetry. Notably, Aristotle's Poetics describes the three genres of poetry: the epic, comic, and tragic, Later aestheticians identified three major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry and dramatic poetry, treating comedy and tragedy as subgenres of dramatic poetry.

The development of modern poetry is generally seen as having started at the beginning of the 20th century and extends into the 21st century. The development of literacy gave rise to more personal, shorter poems intended to be read by an absent audience. In more recent times, the introduction of electronic media and the rise of the poetry reading have led to a resurgence of performance poetry.

With increasing digitalisation, there has been a rise in the use of poetry to promote social causes. With the accessibility of technology and social media, it is easy to share short poems and spread them across the internet, People who write poetry are generally sensitive and aware of the issues around them. They use their personal experiences and express themselves so as to provide a lens to these issues. Similarly, art too has been a constant form of inspiration to the poet and poetry has often inspired Art But perhaps the fondest association of poetry is that with love. Poems are perfect for expressing romantic love, a lovely friendship, or a love that’s complicated.

Whatever may be the inspiration to write poetry there are over a hundred poetic forms to express oneself. Apart from the popular forms like haiku or sonnet, there are exotic formats like Acrostic, Anagrammatic, Blitz, Bop, Cinquain, Descort, Haibun, Imayo, Kyriellw, Nonnet, Pantoum,Rondine, Taitogram and so on so forth.

However very simply put, if I am asked What is poetry to me, I will have to say, that it is an expression of emotions that resonate, that touched a certain internal chord and stays on like a lingering fragrance. While the craft of poetry may be a beautiful embellishment, the heart of poetry is what touches the other. While the play of language may be a literary point of discussion, it is the feel of poetry that stays.

While heavyweight references may create a sense of awe, it is the simple flow which stirs emotions. Isn’t that the most poetic point? The repetitive simplicity that lingers. Lingers on within one's heart and memory. Poetry is that, what hits a mark. Takes you along. Makes you rise and fall with its crescendo and decrescendo. Brings a tear to the eye, because we start owning the emotion, Brings Peace and hope on a dark day, and dreams for a vision, painting a picture.

"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 breeze."

~ Daffodils by William Wordsworth.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

~ Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson

"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul"

~ Invictus by William Ernest Henley

And in more recent times...

"I love you more than I can say.
Try as I do, it hasn’t gone away.
I hoped it would once, and I hope so still.
Someday, I’m sure, it will.
No glimpse, no news, no name will stir me then.
But when? But when?"

~ What's in it by Vikram Seth.

A powerful passionate imagery runs through these poems, far more soul stirring than play of language or stylised structure. It whips up emotions, visions, feelings an brings hope.

It lingers
It resounds
It reverberates
It resonates....

And that is the essence of poetry

Ipsita Ganguli
From The Editorial Desk



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