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Word Count: 971
It is difficult to have a single definition of poetry that fits all its varyingstructures styles and subject material A typical dictionary might definepoetry as literary composition written in verse with meaning This simpledefinition only characterizes poetry on the surface but there is so much moreto poetry than just words One can never define poetry however one can make anattempt to describe its properties function and characteristics as clearly aspossiblePoetry is an ancient mode of expression Even before the development ofwriting primitive societies achieved poetic interpretations of their religioushistorical and cultural awareness and handed them down to the next generationin hymns incantations and narrative poems Among the many different forms ofhuman expression poetry has always had a distinctive place It has always stoodapart from all other forms of literature It is the basis of every branch ofliterary and artistic expression That is why we say that novels paintingsmusical compositions and films are poetic Some modern poets claim that poetryis a way to access the individual and collective unconscious experience of lifeA poem may serve a purpose such as sharing an emotion teaching a lessoncommenting on society describing a mood or conveying any other theme theauthor wishes Several authors have written poems giving their own definitionsof poetry to expand on that of the dictionaryPoets use language to express and communicate an idea to make it tangible in aform that can be shared In The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner RandallJarrell illustrates a very grim idea with the last line When I died they washedme out of the turret with a hose 720 This line expresses the idea of a veryapathetic end to a wasted life If one is dealing with similar ideas andperspectives conventional forms of language may not be sufficient to expressthese new ideas as emphatically That is why poetry has evolved and taken somany different linguistic forms over the centuriesPoetry may be distinguished from prose literature in terms of form by itssmaller size
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