what is poetry

poetry is a literary genre that is characterized by being the most refined manifestation, through the word, of feelings, emotions and reflections that the human being can express around beauty, love, life or death. As such, it can be composed in both verse and prose.

Formerly, poetry was written only in verses, governed by a set of rules on composition called metrics.

According to the metric, the verses were made up of a fixed number of syllables (tetrasyllable, hexasyllable, alexandrine, etc.), a certain distribution of accents and a rhyme, which would result in a rhythm and a particular type of composition: copla, seguidilla, redondilla, quartet, etc.

However, the modern poetry is characterized by the predominance of Free versewhere the author has total freedom to arrange and organize the verses in the text, and find his own rhythm, without ties to rhymes or metrics.

The word poetry, moreover, can be used both to designate a composition in versethat is, a poem, as if to refer to the art or craft of the composition of poetic works. For example: “I composed a poem at sunset”; “I want to dedicate myself to poetry.”

Likewise, we can also use the concept of poetry to refer to the quality of the ideal or the lyricalthat is, what produces a deep feeling of beauty that may or may not be expressed through language, “The beauty of this building is pure poetry.”

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On the other hand, every March 21, World Poetry Day is celebrated, which was proposed by Unesco in 1999, with the aim of highlighting poetry as a creative and innovative cultural manifestation.

See also: Poem and Stanza.

characteristics of poetry

Below are a series of general characteristics of poetry.

  • It can be written in verse or prose.
  • It has rhythm and rhyme.
  • It makes use of elements of symbolic value.
  • It makes use of literary figures, among the most used is the metaphor.
  • Modern poetry makes extensive use of free verse and assonance rhyme.
  • Poetry has varied over time and has been adapted to the expressive needs of the poet.

See also: Rhyme and Verse.

types of poetry

Poetry is a literary genre that can be presented in different ways, therefore, the main types of poetry most used by poets are presented below.

epic poetry

Epic poetry is the ancient literary genre that is distinguished by narrating legendary or historical events, such as battles or wars, in order to exalt them.

It is generally made up of long verses, such as hexameters or alexandrines, in which it uses resources such as narration, description and dialogues to tell the way in which the events and actions of the story unfold, which in turn is subdivided into songs.

The quintessential example of epic poetry is The Iliadof Homer.

See also Epic.

dramatic poetry

As dramatic poetry is called that versified composition created to be represented in the theater.

As such, dramatic poetry develops a situation or a set of situations around a certain theme, on which, through dialogue, a group of characters runs.

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Originally, Greek dramatic poetry was divided into three subgenres: comedy, tragedy, and drama. Some authors who cultivated dramatic poetry in Ancient Greece were aeschylus Y sophocles.

See also Drama.

Lyric poetry

As lyrical poetry is called that which, in Ancient Greece, was composed to be recited as a song and with the accompaniment of a lyre, hence its name.

As such, lyric poetry is a expression of subjectivity that manifests itself through feelings, emotions and reflections of the poetic voice. In this sense, it is an expression of the Self, which differentiates it from the dramatic and epic subgenres.

From a formal point of view, lyrical poetry conforms to the rules of traditional metrics: the stanza, the verse, the rhythm and the rhyme. Today, however, what was previously specifically classified as lyric poetry is considered to be poetry in general.

See also Lyrical poetry.

choral poetry

Choral poetry is one whose composition highlights a set of voices that are interwoven within the poetic flow.

As such, it originates from Ancient Greece, thought mainly to be recited publicly by a group of people, each of whom embodied one of the voices, as in a choir.

For this reason, it is said that choral poetry was probably sung as a song to the gods.

bucolic poetry

Bucolic poetry is a subgenre of poetry characterized by the idealization and celebration of life in the countryside.

In this sense, it is fundamentally inspired by the country landscape and pastoral life. Some referential works of poetry of this type are the bucolicauthorship of virgiland the idyllsof theocritus.

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avant-garde poetry

Avant-garde poetry is a type of poetry that emerged in the first part of the 20th century, characterized by its groundbreaking conception of art, its deeply innovative character, and by proposing an aesthetic revolution in poetry on a formal level.

That is, he declined rhymed verse in favor of free verse, played with the arrangement of the words on the paper to create new effectsrenewed the language and redimensioned the mechanisms involved in the creative process.

Some of its most important currents were the futurismthe Dadaism and the surrealism.

See also Vanguard.

The word poetry It comes from the Latin poēsisand this in turn from the Greek ποίησις (poiesis), which means ‘to make’, ‘to materialize’.