21 August – Poets’ Day
Poetry… We hear the term bandied about all the time, and there isn’t one of us who didn’t write some of our own in our younger days. Whether that poetry was written by the dictate of our instructors in school, or driven by hormone-fueled teenage angst, there was a portfolio of our work available to embarrass or edify us.
But the question has to be asked: what is poetry really? There seems to be so many varieties of it and, in a world containing hundreds of countries and thousands of cultures, it’s the one thing that is nearly universal. So what is poetry, let’s take a look shall we?
At it’s most base description, Poetry is a form of writing that uses the aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of a language, combined with figures of speech, to bring out meanings deeper than the mere definition of the words.
The history of poetry is lengthy, traceable in written form as far back as the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, and has been used as a memetic method of passing down stories and mythologies throughout cultures for countless ages before that. The question of “What is Poetry?” has been a question that has vexed philosophers for time out of mind, with Aristotle writing a book aptly named Poetics, trying to define it.
He was, however, only able to address a small portion of what poetry is and how it is used in rhetoric, song, drama, and comedy. One of the greatest poets of all time heralded from England, along the Avon River in the aptly named Stratford-Upon-Avon in South Warwickshire, England.
This, of course, was the man who was to come to be known as ‘The Bard’, William Shakespeare. His body of work is the foundation for the study of poetry in college’s throughout the world, and is considered to be the absolute pinnacle of the art by many.
Such was the love of “The Bard’s” works that during the time of the Victorian’s, the term ‘Bardolotry‘ was used to describe their love of his poetry. Perhaps the most important lesson to take from the Bard’s rise to prominence in the world of Poetry and literature lies in the time it took for his works to become legend.
It wasn’t until the 19th Century, hundreds of years after his death, that Shakespeare became the legend we know today.
Poet’s Day is dedicated to the long history of poetry in the world, and most especially to those who fill our world with the passion and wonder that flows from the tip of their pens.
Each form of poetry is unique to the author, as poetry is inevitably born from their feelings and personal experiences, and those experiences are not replicated even in another sharing them. If you’ve ever written poetry in your life, and we all know you have, on Poet’s Day it’s time to pick up that pen again and let your inner self spill upon the page like blood upon a dance floor.
Take up the pen, and write what’s in your heart today! Whether you are describing a sunny morning in a garden, the tumultuous rumble of people on a city street, or the final struggling moments of a dying robin on the lawn, bring the world through your eyes to the page.
The best celebration of Poet’s Day is to compose works of poetic art, and compile them for submission to one of the hundreds of amateur poetry publication in the world today. Who knows, a hundred years from now you may be considered one of the greats!