Can Anyone Definitively say What a Poem is?
What makes it a poem?
I attend a writing group every Saturday. It's filled with many poets from across the globe. Russian, Nigerian, Cuban and of course American born poets converge every Saturday at 11:30am to get their poems critiqued at the Smithsonian's portrait gallery. There's a common thing I hear. It's not a poem. I struggle with this.
What are the elements of poetry? Have they been met? What authority are you to say what a poem is or is not? Then how is it not a poem? I ask myself, It can't be the five elements of poetry?
Rap music for example, excuse me good rap music has alliteration, Rhythm, rhyme, tone, simile stanza and onomatopoeia. Because these poems that we share few if any have the latter element so is their "poem" not a poem because it's missing an element of poetry. What's the deciding factor? With poetry being an art and not a science I don't believe anyone gets a say.
"To be or not to be that is the question: Whether or not it is poetry or prose?"
*excerpt from william Shakesphere's Hamlet
So poets, which is it. Poem comes from the Greek word "poema" which means "thing made". Well a guy wrote a thing his mind made. How is it not a poem? Who am I to call a piece of writing that's full of poetic devices not a poem? I believe the answer is none. There are over 50 forms of poetry which includes blank and free verse. My personal opinion is that a poem is what you make it, not what someone else says it is. Despite this you're welcome to feel if a poem is good or bad. Share your thoughts below...