What is Poetry
But a quest
And a question
Without an answer.
But, yes. Seriously. What is it? Anybody who bothers to read my mostly silly posts will note that I frequently resort to very simple little rows of rhyming lines in order to get attention. I’ve been doing it since I was about twelve and have never really grown out of it. I have never matured into a poet, in other words. So I am reluctant, for the most part, to refer to this stuff as poetry, though it does, by some standards, fit the definition. Just for the record, though, rhythm is far more important to me than rhyme.
But I am not a poet. I aspire to be one, perhaps. But not one who writes poetry. If that makes sense.
So I am a bit confused with stuff I read that just seems to be rows of lines with no obvious rhyme or rhythm but rather more defined by not being presented as prose. As though hitting the return key at the end of every sentence (or even mid-sentence, better still) and omitting a word here or there to add some obscurity transforms a page of words into poetry.
It might not be prose
But that don’t
Make it poetry.
Most likely though I am missing something. I would like someone to explain it all to me. I’m serious.
Have a look at this …
Three o’clock in February
All the sky was blue and high
Banners and bunting
And people bunched up between
Greetings and sadness
I did not write the words above. I wish that I had. Is it beautiful? Sad? Thought provoking? I believe so.
But is it poetry?
No, it is not.
It is, in fact, the very first paragraph of a book written by J.P. Donleavy.
With the return key interfering.
If I had actually written those words I would be some way to considering myself a poet. But I would not claim to have written poetry.