The poetry workshop this semester is a hybrid course, partly in class and partly online. Last week, Prof. Sosnowski posted the online written assignment: “What is poetry?” We could respond with a definition or submit a poem. So I did both because, after all, this is a poetry course. Now, what would your response be?
What is Poetry? Poetry is an abstraction of ideas, written in such a way as to exploit the beauty of language. Poetry tells a tale or encapsulates a feeling with brevity of language not found in prose. Poetry need not tell epic stories, but it can evoke emotion with a well-chosen word. Poetry is best read aloud, to capture the rhythm and meter that create its musical quality.
A whisper of a thought
pounding in your chest at 3 AM.
Fragments of a song from a passing car
that conjure a lover’s embrace.
She is Prose’s prettier sister,
all smiles and seduction,
Claiming your soul
while crushing your heart.
She speaks of great deeds
and calls us to worship.
She weaves a song
from memories and passion.
She holds a mirror to life as
she breathes rhythm and rhyme
into words that would be wooden
without her touch.
Poetry is shorthand for your dreams,
aching to be heard.