Updated: Aug 19, 2019
There are as many definitions of poetry as there are poets. If we search with an active mind through these poetic explorations, we can find a uniting front.
Below is a collection of a few thoughts that poets have had on the nature of poetry and art. The center of this work is a local poet living in Livermore, California, Maryam Khawar.
Listen to my conversation with Maryam on the nature of art.
Here are a few quotes on poetry from famous poets:
"Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity." -- William Wordsworth
"Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds." - Percy Bysshe Shelley
"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things." -- T.S. Eliot
Poetry fettered fetters the human race.' - William Blake
"The poet is the priest of the invisible." - Wallace Stevens
"Poetry is, at bottom, a criticism of life." - Matthew Arnold
"Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting." -- Robert Frost
Artist to Artist by Maryam Khawar
How beautiful, was your mind
and the ability to see the essence of the universe
I see it through you
As you pass from artist to artist
Near Poetry by Maryam Khawar
and maybe my love is near poetry
being endlessly drafted, containing boundless ends.
but I will let you know
just like those unspoken words,
I keep you close, to my heart forever
The Apology by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think me not unkind and rude, That I walk alone in grove and glen; I go to the god of the wood To fetch his word to men.
Tax not my sloth that I Fold my arms beside the brook; Each cloud that floated in the sky Writes a letter in my book.
Chide me not, laborious band, For the idle flowers I brought; Every aster in my hand Goes home loaded with a thought.
There was never mystery, But 'tis figured in the flowers, Was never secret history, But birds tell it in the bowers.
One harvest from thy field Homeward brought the oxen strong; A second crop thine acres yield, Which I gather in a song.
I called upon your name by Maryam Khawar
I called upon your name
and for a year
you did not answer;
in the beginning,
a promise was shared between the both of us.
simple and silver
and sacred, in its own right.
but, without warning, you decided to leave
and I was left with the tarnished-
pieces, sifting like sand so easily,
through unsteady fingers.
You returned, again, asking to be remembered
and I held the power of a year