What is Poetry?
William Wordsworth defines poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings;
it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity . . ."
A.E. Housman tested a poem by repeating it to himself while shaving. If his razor stopped
moving, he knew it was poetry.
Dylan Thomas writes, "If you want a definition of poetry, say, 'Poetry is what makes
we laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what makes me want to do this or
that or nothing,' and let it go at that."
Emily Dickinson say, "If I read a book, and it makes my whole body so cold no fire
ever can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head
were taken off, I know that is poetry."
So -- what does poetry mean to you?
Passions in Poetry
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