from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or practice of composing poems.
  • noun Poems regarded as forming a division of literature.
  • noun The poetic works of a given author, group, nation, or kind.
  • noun Literature written in meter; verse.
  • noun Prose that resembles a poem in some respect, as in vivid imagery or rhythmic sound.
  • noun The essence or characteristic quality of a poem.
  • noun A quality that suggests poetry, as in grace, beauty, or harmony.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun That one of the fine arts which addresses itself to the feelings and the imagination by the instrumentality of musical and moving words; the art which has for its object the exciting of intellectual pleasure by means of vivid, imaginative, passionate, and inspiriting language, usually though not necessarily arranged in the form of measured verse or numbers.
  • noun An imaginative, artistic, and metrical collocation of words so marshaled and attuned as to excite or control the imagination and the emotions; the language of the imagination or emotions metrically expressed.
  • noun Composition in verse; a metrical composition; verse; poems: as, heroic poetry; lyric or dramatic poetry; a collection of poetry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The art of apprehending and interpreting ideas by the faculty of imagination; the art of idealizing in thought and in expression.
  • noun Imaginative language or composition, whether expressed rhythmically or in prose. Specifically: Metrical composition; verse; rhyme; poems collectively

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The class of literature comprising poems.
  • noun Composition in verse or language exhibiting conscious attention to patterns.
  • noun A poet's literary production
  • noun A 'poetical' quality, artistic and/or artfull, which appeals or stirs the imagination, in any medium

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any communication resembling poetry in beauty or the evocation of feeling
  • noun literature in metrical form


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English poetrie, from Old French, from Medieval Latin poētria, from Latin poēta, poet; see poet.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ποίησις (poiesis, "poetry"), from ποιέω (poieō, "I make, do, create").


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  • I have never been able to figure out what "SF poetry" is, what it's supposed to do, how it is different from other types of poetry**, so I can't join him in that argument, but I do think that the poetry that gets called SF Poetry ought to have a larger horizon, because by the standards of literature outside of the SF world, SF poetry makes most speculative fiction look daring and formally innovative.

    Archive 2004-10-01 2004

  •   Although I remember fondly a poetry book someone made for me with his own Mad poetry… that was a way kewl present!!

    PoeticaL trulypoetic 2002

  • But waiving this, of which it was not my intention to speak, let me remark, that the reason why poetry will no longer go down with the public, _as poetry_, is, that the whole frame-work is worn out.

    Punch, or the London Charivari. Volume 1, July 31, 1841 Various

  • He had no idea that poetry -- _poetry_ -- rhymed "annuities" with "true it is" and "Jew it is."

    If Winter Comes 1925

  • As the unprejudiced reader sees [Dr Gummere proceeds] this clear and admirable account confirms the doctrine of early days revived with fresh ethnological evidence in the writings of Dr Brown and of Adam Smith, that dance, poetry and song were once a single and inseparable function, and is in itself fatal to the idea of rhythmic prose, of solitary recitation, as foundations of poetry….

    IV. Children’s Reading (II) 1920

  • These are not stark and stiffened persons, but the new-born poetry of God, —poetry without stop, —hymn, ode and epic, poetry still flowing and not yet caked in dead books with annotation and grammar, but Apollo and the Muses chanting still.

    VI. Essays. Friendship. 1841 1909

  • I have written before that any history of poetry is inevitably a history of change in poetry, and that an inevitable consequence is that the well-wrought urn is almost invariably a trivial accomplishment.

    Only Change and No Urns? 2010

  • I have written before that any history of poetry is inevitably a history of change in poetry, and that an inevitable consequence is that the well-wrought urn is almost invariably a trivial accomplishment.

    March 2010 2010

  • I have written before that any history of poetry is inevitably a history of change in poetry, and that an inevitable consequence is that the well-wrought urn is almost invariably a trivial accomplishment.

    Principles of Literary Criticism 2010

  • From this perspective, the lyrical topos of nightlife in poetry is the primary form of that which takes place, secondarily, in the world.

    Club Monad 2008


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  • "Poetry. Well educated. Pity." Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    January 1, 2008

  • It's hard to keep alive that excitement some of us feel when you see someone using a verb as an adjective.

    --Mary Jo Salter, quoted by Paul Gleason, 2008, "Anthologizing Yourself", Harvard Magazine 110(6): 17

    July 8, 2008

  • yea! Mary Jo Salter - probably my favorite modern poet.

    July 8, 2008

  • “Ape Owe ‘Em�?

    When fur stews can this sill leer I'm,

    Toot rye tomb ache theme e'en ink Lear,

    Youth inked wood butt bee weigh sting thyme;

    Use eh, "It's imp lean on scents shear!"

    Gnome attar; Anna lies align!

    Nation mice lender verse says knot–

    Fork rip tick poet real Ike mine,

    How Aaron weal, demesnes allot.

    – Deems Taylor (seen at Futility Closet)

    February 12, 2009

  • Definition of Poetry

    Wick and wax

    of tallow smells

    stands indifferent and alone,

    The colorless

    Silent sentinel emblematic

    of many


    An empty room

    In darkness stands

    as silence grows,

    engulfing space.

    The Icon awaiting fire.

    a. j. anon 2008®

    Definitions of poetry are the most fleeting of all animals. Academic poetry has it's hybrid standards, the rest of all others are more forgiving and easier to obtain. This does not diminish the value in either instance. I prefer beer and sausage, you may prefer champaign and roe.

    March 31, 2009

  • Expressionism; tags this word

    March 31, 2009

  • "It was the custom for unmarried officers (the majority in those days) to visit the bungalows of the married for drinks on Sunday before lunch and sometimes before dinner on weekdays. I noticed very few came to us and as I knew Squire to be popular, I was anxious. 'Bertie', I asked one friendly youth, 'why don't more people come and see us?' He was embarrassed. 'Well', he finally managed to blurt out, 'It has got about that you read poetry'. 'Bother them all', I thought. 'I have never read it aloud'."

    —Annabel Venning, Following the Drum: The Lives of Army Wives and Daughters Past and Present (London: Headline, 2005), 195

    May 11, 2010

  • Today (10/3/13) is Natl Poetry Day in the UK. What are your favorite poems? Among mine, William Butler Yeats' The Wild Swans at Coole, and A.E. Housman's Loveliest of trees, the cherry now</i>".

    October 3, 2013

  • I have too many. Should we make a list? I nominate hernesheir to create it.

    October 3, 2013