Poetry|Poetry Breakdown

Hello again! I hope you’ve been having a good day! If not, then don’t worry, it’ll get better. Just breathe and focus in the present. Don’t let your problems overwhelm you too much.

Yes, I really did write a poem about poetry. It was due to a spontaneous discussion that I brought up in the infamous writing class. For the majority of the class, we talked about what really defined a poem and in response, I decided to write this poem.


What makes poetry, poetry, you ask?
And I would ask you back,
“Is it how it flows out of your mouth and into your ears like liquid gold?
Is it the beat of the words that sound to the heart driving the blood throughout the body?
Is it the way each individual word is placed, so it becomes art?
Is it how it brings you to a feeling you’ve never felt before, but it still feels right?
Is it when your head explodes and you don’t have time to pick up the pieces?”
You would furrow your brows and frown.
You walk away with something intangible.
You sit at your desk with your hand poised with a pen
and you place the intangible into
something more tangible and
that is poetry.

I wrote this poem like someone is having a conversation with me although as I go through the questions, it seems like a one-sided conversation. All these questions are analogies of how I think poetry should feel. Gold is pretty valuable and to have it flow through your ears and mouth can be both rewarding and painful. Imagine molten gold pouring through you. It would kill you and I suppose poetry can have that effect on someone if the subject of the poem is that truthful. I also compare it to the heart which is a vital organ as to suggest that poetry is vital to life. In the third question, I ask if each word has its own purpose in the poem just like how each brushstroke is important to a painting or how each carving is important to the sculpture. You could put in the word, forever, but you could also put in the word, perpetual. Even though the meanings is similar, it would change the tone of the piece.

Have you ever gone to a place and you just knew that you belonged there even though you have never been there before? It just feels like home even though it is clearly not the home you’re familiar with.  I suppose with my fourth question, it’s to invoke that feeling. You read that piece and you just know that all the words are in the right places and the rhythm is right. I can say that that feeling is one of the most satisfactory feelings for a writer.

I jump back to the fact that poems can be very impacting and powerful with the fifth question when you’re mind-blown. After reading some poems, the ending meaning is so powerful, you sit back and realize what the poem was saying. This can also happen with a novel. You don’t have time to pick up the pieces of your brain because you’re still in awe of the poem. This question was a little graphic, but in class, we talked about how poems can be mind-blowing and I took that metaphor and made it literal.

The conversation continues with your reaction and no dialogue from your side. I don’t actually answer the very first question of what makes poetry poetry. Instead, I just give sort of an answer to what I poem could be when it could be many things. Poems don’t have to be in a specific structure or have intricate words and analogies. I think the main thing with poetry is feeling and whether you would call it a poem. Just like how you would call yourself a writer. If you write, then you’re a writer. If you think that what you write fits your definition of a poem, then it’s a poem.

And so, that is the end of my poetry breakdown this week. I hope you liked it and that it helped you understand the poem. What do you think makes poetry poetry?



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