What is Poetry?

How would you describe poetry?  Yesterday I read four unique descriptions of poetry. I loved each one! I’ll share them with you.

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” Carl Sandburg

“Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.”  Thomas Gray

“Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.” Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”  Robert Frost


I wrote my own thoughts on poetry in a poem that I posted on my poetry blog, the Dance of Life, about two years ago.  I’d like to share it here:


Poetry is in the wind,
in the grass,
and in the gentle breeze.

It’s in the flowers,
in the stars,
and in the bending trees.

Poetry is in a shout,
in a laugh,
and in a quiet whisper.

It’s in my pain,
in my fears,
and the love of my brothers and sister.

Poetry is in my heart,
in my mind,
and deep within my soul.

It’s a special gift,
sent by God,
to heal and make me whole.

Now it’s your turn to share.  What is poetry to you? How would you describe poetry?  Feel free to answer this in the comment section. 🙂


4 thoughts on “What is Poetry?

  1. Beautifully articulated as always my friend. 🙂
    I love this quote~ “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” Robert Frost….looove that guy.
    I found this one and it made me laugh: “A poet can survive anything but a misprint.” Oscar Wilde
    Poetry helps my arbitrary and random mind seem disciplined and systematic. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! Today as I was reading one of your poems I thought back to the time you told me how much you disliked poetry. I knew you’d come around! You just hadn’t truly found it. I’m glad that you and poetry became goof friends. It suits you! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful post, Sue. I like all of the quotes you listed, but my favorite is “Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn.” Thomas Gray
    I have always loved poetry, but I do not think I have poetic talent. I have to be truly inspired to write poetry. I wrote quite a bit of poetry in my emotional teen years. I don’t write so much of it any more, but I do love to read it, and I really enjoy the poetry you write.
    Other poets I enjoy are Robert Frost, Helen Steiner Rice, and Emily Dickinson.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kelly. But i disagree with you about your ability to write poetry. I believe that you are able to write it. I encourage you to start a personal poetry journal. I bet as you write it’ll come to you and you’ll be surprised. 🙂 Poetry is like other forms of writing, as you immerse yourself in it (via reading and writing it) the more comfortable you become with it and eventually it’ll flow from you. Practice is a writer’s best friend no matter what the genre. 😉 That’s just my $.02 worth.


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