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It is difficult to have a single definition of poetry that fits all its varying structures styles and subject material A typical dictionary might define poetry as literary composition written in verse with meaning This simple definition only characterizes poetry on the surface but there is so much more to poetry than just words One can never define poetry however one can make an attempt to describe its properties function and characteristics as clearly as possible Poetry is an ancient mode of expression Even before the development of writing primitive societies achieved poetic interpretations of their religious historical and cultural awareness and handed them down to the next generation in hymns incantations and narrative poems Among the many different forms of human expression poetry has always had a distinctive place It has always stood apart from all other forms of literature It is the basis of every branch of literary and artistic expression That is why we say that novels paintings musical compositions and films are poetic Some modern poets claim that poetry is a way to access the individual and collective unconscious experience of life A poem may serve a purpose such as sharing an emotion teaching a lesson commenting on society describing a mood or conveying any other theme the author wishes Several authors have written poems giving their own definitions of poetry to expand on that of the dictionary Poets use language to express and communicate an idea to make it tangible in a form that can be shared In The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner Randall Jarrell illustrates a very grim idea with the last line When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose 720 This line expresses the idea of a very apathetic end to a wasted life If one is dealing with similar ideas and perspectives conventional forms of language may not be sufficient to express these new ideas as emphatically That
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