01 December 2011

What is Poetry?

First it's the words-
green words, ripe words to sip and smell, full
flavored on the tongue to transport,
temper, grip and affront.
Bottled up words concede,
become brainstorms. Words
presage, seethe and shudder, have affairs
with other words, grow gravid with illicit seed, bear
new words with primal screams.
Words smolder and succumb, relent and sulk.
A conspiracy concocted to break open our skull, bartered
to bare our heart, pursued on purpose, built in play to poems.

Ciphers decipher life, shape breath. Given mazes
poems make maps, an overview when view is overwhelming.
Poems elude and denude, invade minds in praise of words, never
inured to their salute. Poems specify new words, ascribe powers to them,
chant them, liken them to purple lupine, cast them on breath's wind,
fingered, picked, an incantation of words to stun and stupefy.
Poems revere words, cull words, draft and give back.
Poems stammer and ado, talk and bicker, clash and cause
a cause celebre. Haggles ensue in a hullabaloo. Some
rebut, some debunk, some quest or pester.
Poems bellow, howl, whoop and shout,
splash speech across the page, gnaw on magic.

This is posted in response to the generous prompt on dVerse Poets Pub by Gay Reiser Cannon on Form For All, Poetic Devices: Image, Symbol, Metaphor, Allegory. 
This site is a great way to learn more about poetry, crafting poems and read other poets.


  1. This is rich!
    And, indeedy, it speaks of poetry.

  2. have affairs
    with other words -> i love this concept it's exactly what poetry is about

  3. ha i love it...my words have affairs with each other, their offspring are metaphors and simile at me as they walk by...you capture poetry well...

  4. My goodness! Did you write this?

  5. I do love your take on poetry.
    well done.

  6. One would have to call this poetry - the poetry of poetry, an ode to words, the metaphor of symbols, the assonance, the consonance, the internal rhymes, the onomatopoeia,the singing and the winging of the verbs, ehrr words. Really playful, and exceptionally well done. I enjoyed it immensely.

  7. Hello Just popping by to say Im still reading you, but I never know what to say about poetry, apart from Wow! amazing...........and that does not stand up to any level of poetry.
    :-) xxx

  8. its really good post of yours.

  9. words are so powerful and devine..you captured the magic so well with your poem..

  10. A wonderful onomatopoeia of the human world in words. - Brendan

  11. Rosaria, I had fun with it.

    zongrik, I agree.

    Brian, Great image!

    Linda, Indeed I did.

    Lou, Thanks.

    Beachanny, I enjoyed playing with this and learned from your write up about poetry.

    CC, It sure does. I appreciate you showing up and reading.

    Sunny, Thank you- the dVerse Poets site that this is connected to is a good one for improving our poetry.

    Claudia, They are powerful and I'm in love with them. Sometimes I re-read lines that make my heart break with their beauty.

    Brendan, Thanks and thanks for coming by.

  12. "an overview when view is overwhelming"

    Great, great writing!

  13. This is excellent! Truly. I love it. Well done!

  14. A perfect description - and such a cute picture!

  15. Sally, Grazie.

    MZ, Poetry does provide that, doesn't it? I'm grateful.

    Patti, Thank you, Patti. We cheer each other on- I like that.

    Nancy, My granddaughter and grand-niece at a darling moment.

  16. I like the active and lively dance of words.. hullabaloo got me ~


  17. Heaven, Hullabaloo was one of my mother's words that delighted me and that has stayed with me.

  18. From beginning to end this ode to what a poem is, what poetry is, is as much fun as it must have been to write, though it was not only fun I think, as it is too clever to just appear in a few moments' write; it had to be culled and haggled, into this magic.

  19. Ruth, Grazie, la mia amica. You're right, of course. It's a rework of a poem I wrote back in 5/21/10 and posted in response to a challenge from The Inferno about Writers. This time I got more serious and more playful. It took a long time but I fell in love with words all over again in the process which makes my heart happy.

  20. indeed! but where you succeed with words, this is where i fail at poetry. i forget about the words and go directly into the stomach of living. i suppose poetry could be as many different things as there are people. yes, this seems about right.


  21. erin, I've actually noticed that too- I envy your ability to go to the stomach of living- go with your gut. I do get mesmerized by the words, fall in love with them. But they're only the words and meanwhile, the stuff of life is there. I'm reading, learning, living and getting braver.


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