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Definition of Poetry

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 461
  • Category: Poetry

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The poems that I’ve read from this chapter have left me confused and delirious. Poems can take you on an emotional, physical, and mental roller coaster. The poet can make you feel a certain way after reading their work. I believe that the best definition of poetry is Emily Dickinson’s definition. She said that she knew she was reading poetry if it “makes her whole body so cold no fire can warm it”, or if she “physically feels as if the top of her head were taken off”. Basically she is saying that poetry allows you to use your senses and imagine that whatever is happening in the poem, is happening to you.

The way poems are structured and the connotations in them give you a greater personal experience than a regular story would. Poems perceive to the five senses. A poem isn’t exactly a poem if it doesn’t contain imagery. Poets structure their poems based on what comes to their mind, and they convey their message using certain words in a certain order. The reader has to be able to grasp the idea that the poet is trying to put out there, and in doing so makes the reader enjoy the poem even more. After reading a poem, a person should be personally affected by it. This is considered a main goal of many poets.

The two poems that I feel express Emily Dickinson’s meaning of poetry are “Warning” by Jenny Joseph and “The Victims” by Sharon Olds. In “Warning”, the speaker talks about how she will look when she gets old. She uses imagery by describing red hats and wearing purple clothes. She also says she will wear satin sandals and terrible shirts. This allows the reader to imagine how the speaker would look when she’s older. This poem makes you dread the thought of getting older.

In the poem “The Victims” the speaker talks about how she feels when her mother and father separate. She describes homeless people in the hallways of buildings, and says that that may be him one day. She said she felt glad that her mother divorced him after all those years of “taking it”. This poem makes you feel sorry for not only the father but the homeless men that were described too. It makes the reader feel remorseful for dysfunctional families and for anyone who is going through a divorce.

In conclusion, these two poems express emotions that people may be afraid to express openly. Emily Dickinson said that poetry is supposed to make you feel like you just had a personal experience, and these two poems did exactly that. Poetry is being able to feel a certain way after reading it, and taking it personally.

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