What is poetry?

Thank you to all the poets today we contributed to our discussion about what poetry is and why it’s so important! I will turn your ideas into some freely downloadable posters for schools, but wanted to capture some your excellent thoughts here! 

“Poetry is a bit like love. Impossible to define or even describe but you know it when you meet it.”
Carole Bromley

“Poetry is play – playing with letters, sounds, words and ideas.”
Rachel Rooney

“A poem can be about anything in the whole wide cosmos, so some will be just right for you. Poets love to juggle with words – watch what they do, then do it yourself!”
Coral Rumble

“Because poetry is your language. It’s the language you use to love someone, to acknowledge the world around you, to whisper when you need someone to notice you.”
Dom Conlon

“To me it’s moments captured, then shared, bringing us closer together.”
Steven Camden

“Poetree can take root deep in your heart.”
Neal Zetter

“Poetry is a friend for life. Not just for valentine’s!”
Justin Coe

“Poetry fills your mind with pictures, sounds, rhythms, feelings, and new ways of talking. All you have to do is hear it, read it or say it and it finds a home in your mind.”
Michael Rosen

“Poetry doesn’t require the most words, just the best words. A poem learned is a forever friend, something new yet familiar every day. And just like music it helps us express the inexpressible. Our happy place, our sad place, our place of wonder.”
Sue Hardy-Dawson

“In my mind, poetry is indefinable, and all the more magical for it. The only way to begin to find out what poetry is for YOU is to get involved with it. Read it, say it, feel it – find out what speaks to you.”
Matt Goodfellow

“Poetry is like cake.
Flour and eggs and sugar are not so special by themselves but put them together the right way, bake the mixture in the oven for the right time and mmmmm!
Poetry does that with words.
A poet puts them together in a special way to make something delicious!”
Andy Seed

“Poems are like buildings made from words and silence. They have quiet places in them where the words can resonate. They have echoes, echoes, echoes…”
Philip Gross

“Poems are feelings
Poems inform
Poems encourage us
Not to conform

Poems blend rhythms
With smiles and with rhyme
But as we all know
That last bit’s not always true…”
Paul Jenkins

“Poems can be like fossils, waiting to be found. Excavating one is VERY satisfying (and often magical…).
Poems can also help you say important things you might not otherwise – like how sadness feels, or what you’re scared of, or what you want (or need) to say but don’t.”
Laura Mucha

“Poetry says the unsayable, and shines a light on the unknowable.”
Jay Hulme

“Poetry lets you paint pictures with the patterns, shapes, sounds and feelings of words.”
Julie Douglas

“Poetry is an adventure. You just never know what you’ll discover by the time you get to last word and this goes for if you’re writing one or just reading one.”
Karl Nova

“Poems are easily transportable. The best way to carry them around is in your head.”
Colin West

“A poem about the planet is still child-sized.”
Liz Brownlee

“Poetry is the sky,
Poets are birds,
A poem is a flight path,
A rise, swoop and curve.”
Alex Wharton

“A poem’s little random words
That dance around your head
Then rearrange themselves to form
Something larger instead.”
Chris White

“A poem is a model made out of little Lego wordbricks.”
Joshua Seigal

“As a child who loved reading simplistic poetry, it felt accessible. I struggled to read and thought that you had to be academically bright to be able to take it on board. I realised that this wasn’t so, as I understood what I was reading. – this encouraged me to read more. I set up and fund a national initiative encouraging children to ‘have a go’ at writing poetry that has been running for the past 8 years, and will continue. I wanted to give children of all abilities an opportunity. Poetry helped me improve my ability to read, giving me confidence.”
Christina Gabbitas

 

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