For poetry was all written before time was, and whenever we are so finely organized that we can penetrate into that region where the air is music, we hear those primal warblings and attempt to write them down, but we lose ever and anon a word or a verse and substitute something of our own, and thus miswrite the poem. The men of more delicate ear write down these cadences more faithfully, and these transcripts, though imperfect, become the songs of the nations.
There is a vast expanse of time before the Norman Conquest in 1066, from which fragments of literary texts remain, although these fragments make quite a substantial body of work. If we consider that the same expanse of time has passed between Shakespeare's time and now as passed between the earliest extant text and 1066, we can begin to imagine just how much literary expression there must have been. But these centuries remain largely dark to us, apart from a few illuminating flashes and fragments, since almost all of it was never written down, and since most of what was preserved in writing was destroyed later, particularly during the 1530s.
Recall what used to be the theme of poetry in the romantic era. In neat verses the poet lets us share his private, bourgeois emotions: his sufferings great and small, his nostalgias, his religious or political pre-occupations, and, if he were English, his pipe-smoking reveries. On occasions, individual genius allowed a more subtle emanation to envelope the human nucleus of the poem - as we find in Baudelaire for example. But this splendour was a by-product. All the poet wished was to be a human being.When he writes, I believe today's poet simply wishes to be a poet.
You write poetry?" Klaus asked.He had read a lot about poets but had never met one."Just a little bit," Isadora said modestly. "I write poems down in this notebook. It's an interest of mine.""Sappho!" Sunny shrieked, which meant something like, "I'd be very pleased to hear a poem of yours!
Poetry lets me pour out my various emotions even the suppressed ones we didn't know exist inside us' til the moment you start jotting down what you're feeling. It's more than an escape into the unknown, a refuge for your creativity and sometimes wild imagination not all ordinary, ungifted people like us understand." -Elizabeth's Quotes
Johnson, who defines poetry as 'metrical composition', defines poet as 'An inventor; an author of fiction; a writer of poems; one who writes in measure'. We can gauge how far we have traveled by comparing this with the Shorter Oxford Dictionary which, after a definition very like Johnson's, feels obligated to add 'A writer in verse (or sometimes in elevated prose) distinguished by imaginative power, insight, sensibility, and faculty of expression'.