Saturday, May 9, 2009

Poetry Is....

I haven't updated in a while so I have an essay for you. Its nice. Got me a B+.

I believe that poetry is everything and anything. Some people say that poetry is art. Some say that poetry is an escape or a mouthpiece for emotions. Poetry is all that and so much more. Poetry is speech to the dumb, eyes to the emotionally blind and nerves for the paralytic. Poetry allows people to live and give life to abstract things.
In “homage to my hips” by Lucille Clifton, the speaker aggrandizes her hips. She tells us that her hips are big and free. “they don’t fit into little petty places. these hips are free hips. they don’t like to be held back. This is what poetry is. Poetry is unrestricted. It is made big by the amount of feeling, emotion and meaning that it should contain. Poetry is not planned and cannot thrive when it is restricted. “they do what they want to do.” As a reader, you cannot tell poetry what to do and what feelings to beckon. After the pen leaves the paper the poem can do whatever it wishes like a person who is not enslaved. “these hips are magic hips. i have known them to put a spell on a man…” Poetry is magic. It can put a spell on you that will allow you to feel the emotions of the poet, bring back memories or understand the poet and even yourself a little more.
Archibald Macleish said that “Poetry should be equal to: not true.” At first glance, you would think that equal and true mean the same thing. But, alas, they have different meanings. One USD is equal to, but not the same as, around 70 Jamaican dollars. This is poetry. The poet doesn’t say ‘the flower is red’. Instead the poet says ‘The beautiful crimson coloured bloom.’ They mean the same thing but are not the same thing. “A poem should be motionless in time as the moon climbs.” This is one of my favourite lines in this poem. When you look at a full moon an any given night it seems so stationary but if you walk outside a half an hour later it is in a different spot. Poetry is like this. You might think that the poem isn’t going anywhere but when you look back, you realize how much it moved you and how many feelings it evoked from you. It’s also beautiful and alluring like the moon.
Lastly, “A poem should not mean but be.” This is a valid and profound statement, poetic in itself. Since poetry is the reflection of another human being, it makes sense for it to be. You would walk up to a person and say that they mean. “You mean beautiful” does not make sense. Poetry is like a human in its state of being. “You are beautiful.” Meaning is relative while existing is absolute. Robert Frost will always be Robert Frost (dead or alive). However what he means to every individual is totally different. Poets should focus on the state of the poetry’s being because poetry is so free that they cannot control what it means to each person. Its understanding is to be understood by the reader.
“For Once Then Something by Robert Frost portrays a wonderful meaning and way for a poem to be understood: through humility. You can research and dig and ask as many questions as you would like but if you have a haughty mind state you will not be able to fully understand a poem. According to Frost, only humility will allow you to understand. Humility will reveal the poems meaning and significance.