The Definition Of Poems: The Universal Concept Of Poetry

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Although poetry has existed since time immemorial, as Perrine explains, “Poetry is as universal as language and almost as ancient” (2); establishing a definition that satisfies all aspects of poetry is not simple. Therefore, throughout history many poets and critics have elaborated different definitions to summarize in a few words what poetry is. Poets such as Samuel Taylor, Ralph Waldo, Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost have tried to establish a universal concept of poetry. Each of them has developed a concept of poetry that differs in some respects from each other because every author emphasize the definition only in certain aspects of poetry. However, this essay will explain why the definition proposed by Samuel Taylor is the one that best represents the poems studied in class from the perspective of two uses of language, the practical and the literary. Moreover, this essay will use the poem “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood as an example for supporting Taylor’s definition.…show more content…
In this definition Taylor states that poetry is not simply a group of pretty words as people mistakenly think. Poetry from Taylor's perspective goes beyond magnification of beauty; for this author poetry conveys to readers a perception of life through the appropriate selection of words. In other words, poetry makes use of a concentrated and condensed language; therefore, each one word in a poem has a meaning. However, this transmission of experience should not be mistakenly associated with a moral of the poem because conveying a moral is not a function of poetry, as other types of narrative works do. In the poem “Siren Song,” reader can see this transmission of significant experience because the speaker who is probably a siren develops themes such as isolation and
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