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English 10: Class Notes  Defining Poetry

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This week, the class discussed personal definitions of poetry in a class titled Poetry: Creating a Definition. Six groups defined poetry. In addition, the teacher wrote his personal definition in paragraph form.

Teacher's Definition:

     Poetry, for me, is the most essential form of human communication. Since poetry involves the human voice, waves of sound, and the reception of sound in the human ear, it is the most direct form of literature we have. It is thus very important to me to hear, see, and experience poetry. When a poet reads a poem, I lose myself in the sounds. Yes, sounds, as all words are made of individual pieces of sound. Long before we had writing, we cried out to each other, wailed about our losses, exulted in our victories. I both read and write poetry. Most recently, I composed a poem to honour my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary. But, most importantly, I read it out to a gathering of some 100 people and at the end heard a sound, a kind of murmur or sigh, come out of their mouths. This is poetry as communication: my words and my voice reaching out to others, and their understanding me. So, there is no doubt as to why poetry is created: it is much like a baby's cry, a cry out to be heard and understood by others.

Student Definitions:

Group One

Poetry is made of short sentences. Each sentence is different in wording. The words rhyme together like music. Poetry helps us to feel emotions. Poetry is shorter than other forms.

Group Two

Poetry's structure is not the same as other literature. Poetry comes in two flavours: narrative (story) and lyric (emotional). Poetry uses concentrated sentences to express strong and wide emotions. (some disagreement about the kind of emotions expressed: could be others)

Group Three

Poetry is a special way to organize words and short sentences with some rhyming rules to express feelings, emotions, and imagination. Lines in poetry are telling more than lines only. They leave something behind the words for the reader's to imagine. To truly love poetry requires an imagination.

Group Four

Poetry is a special kind of writing. It has strict rules and it contains fewer words and more meaning. Poetry has emotion and rhymes.

Group Five

Poetry is a kind of language art. It expresses our feelings and emotions and has similes, metaphors, stanzas, and rhythms.

Group Six

Poetry has a format and rhymes. It is composed with special words that are easy to recite. Poetry is sometimes hard to understand.



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