Diving deep into the world of poetry – what is it? What may poetry be?

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For ages, and centuries and amidst building and subverting civilisations, poets have always been actively playing their roles. Whether it’s singing for the King or mobilising the masses against a corrupt dictator, poets have been at the forefront. From the early dawn of the world to the present state dominated by artificial intelligence, poets matter. They matter a lot to their patrons or their readers. Poetry may differ from poet to poet. However, there is a common consensus on what poetry can and cannot be. Is it merely rhyming words prepared in a lyrical order? Is it any idea expressed in verse? Is it a combination of words and sentences written in any possible way? Or, is it the best words in the best order as someone great proposed? In this article, we will discuss the possible explanations, interpretations and definitions of poetry. Also, we will deliberate on the role of poets and poetry.

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In literary terms, poetry is a lyrical composition, often in rhyming words, about a subject. There are many different kinds of poetry – ode, eulogy, elegy, satire, epic, pastoral, etc. However, in abstract terms, we can discuss this for days. What might poetry be? What may a poet do when he says he is writing poetry? What is writing poetry? What does a composition called poetry contain? So, let’s discuss some ambiguous, abstract and astray ideas.

In perspective, poetry is a way of seeing the world, a way of expressing what cannot be said in any other way. It might sound ambiguous (it has to). Poetry’s definition cannot be straightforward. To extend the same, it is a way of finding beauty in the ordinary, of making sense of the chaos, and of connecting with others on a deeper level. And it sounds fantastic. And from the perspective of a poet, the person who creates poetry, it is magic! Not even a form of magic, but magic itself! The poet has the ability to garner words from the abyss of the lexicon and transform them into something beautiful. And this process, yes, can be nothing less than magic. We all see words every day, use them and speak using the same. However, not everyone can create the magic that a poet can create. So, poetry is indeed magical! It is the ability to create something merely with words… something that may or may not have existed before. And that’s why a great poet said poets can create worlds!

From the reader’s perspective, poetry can be a healing touch, a kind of therapy. Poetry is about processing emotions, understanding someone’s thoughts, developing empathy and sympathy, understanding passion and zeal, and realising the power of unspoken feelings. A poet gives voice to feelings and thoughts without speaking anything. A reader decodes the same without listening to anything. So, poetry is an encoded message and reading poetry means decoding the same. Poetry, in other words, is a wonderful relationship between the poet and his readers.

How can poetry help people? Yes, it can help in many ways and here are some of them:


  • Poetry offers the power of understanding oneself and others. Because it comes with emotions, thoughts and ideas, poetry can help us to see the world through different perspectives, and to understand the thoughts and feelings of others. Eventually, reading poetry may help anyone develop empathy and compassion.
  • Poetry comes with many tools of writing or figures of speech that make writing beautiful, it can help many to develop creativity and imagination. Many have started writing poetry after reading different poets. Many have started writing in better words after reading poems by great poets like Shakespeare, Marlowe, Shelley and Keats.
  • Want to see beauty in the world? You can start reading poems! Not only ‘a thing of beauty is a joy forever’ but also beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. So, once you start seeing beauty in the ordinary things in the world around you, you start becoming peaceful and composed from the inside.

So, this was something on poetry, poems and poets. You can add your thoughts and ideas to it. Poetry gives us the freedom to choose to be what we want to become – either a person who can see positivity and beauty in all or someone with a cynic eye who can question anything possible.


By Ashish for ReadByCritics

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