The grass has riz.
I wonder where
The flowers is.
That's about the extent to which I understand most poetry. Even as a wordsmith, I have trouble understanding exactly the point that's being made in most poems. Perhaps I am being simply too analytical. But whatever the reason, I don't understand most poems. But that's not to say that I don't read them anyway. The way poets combine words and the way they come up with evocative descriptions...it really does amaze me. And I'm a little jealous of poets and their amazing vocabulary and thought processes.
The late English poet, Matthew Arnold, once said, "Poetry is simply the most beautiful, inspirational, and widely effective mode of saying things." I'm not sure I'd agree with the "effective" part of that statement, but poetry is certainly beautiful and inspirational.
Today is National Poem In Your Pocket Day. This day was created to share the joy that poems bring by carrying one in your pocket and sharing it throughout the day with others. April is Poetry Month and National Poem In Your Pocket has been a part of this celebration since 2002. To celebrate, I have assembled ten interesting facts about poetry. Who knows? Perhaps these facts will convince you to try your hand at a little poetry writing.
But first, let's start off with the question, what is poetry? "Poetry, also known as verse, is a type of literature that utilizes sound and images to express ideas and feelings. There are various types of poetry, from haikus, limericks, riddles, sonnets and so on. The earliest form of poetry was called epic poems, and it dates backs to hundreds of centuries. Poems can paint a picture in our minds or make us feel a certain way. It was originally recited, or spoken aloud to an audience.
And now for the fun stuff!
1. One of the most popular forms of writing short poems is haiku. “Haiku” is a traditional form of Japanese poetry. Haiku poems consist of three lines. The first and last lines of a Haiku have five syllables and the middle line has seven syllables. The lines rarely rhyme.
2. Mahabharata is the longest poem in the world. It is an Indian epic poem which has around 1.8 million words.
3. The Epic is one of the earliest types of poetry. It is a long, narrative poem that is usually about heroic deeds and events that are significant to the culture of the poet.
4. The oldest written poem, believed to be 4,000 years old, is the Epic of Gilgamesh originating from Babylon. It tells the story of a king named Gilgamesh, who was half-god and half-man.
5. Poet’s day, celebrated every 21st of August, 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.
6. Poetry is an outlet for our emotions, regardless of what kind of emotion it is.
7. An 1852 edition of John Milton’s Poetical Works was bound in the skin of a murderer, George Cudmore. (eeewww!)
8. The word ‘unfriend’ was used as a noun dating back from around 1275, meaning ‘one who is not a friend’ in Layamon’s medieval epic poem, Brut. And now it's a common word used in social media...as to unfriend someone on FaceBook.
9. Gottlob Burmann, a German poet, despised the letter R so much that he avoided using it in his poems – and in everyday conversation. (He'd have a little problem with my name then...it contains 3 Rs!)
10. Poet Amy Lowell once bought a stash of 10,000 cigars, claiming she needed them to help her write.
Even with my limited understanding of all except the most basic of poetry, I know that poetry comes from the soul. It is deeply personal and it is a glimpse into the author's innermost thoughts and dreams. If you'd like to share a poem today, maybe even one that you've written, use #PoemInYourPocketDay or #Pocket Poem to join in the conversation with other poets and lovers of poetry on social media.
Tomorrow is Good Friday and I have a very special blog planned. I hope you'll join me! And because it's Easter weekend, you know that means I'm anticipating a visit from the Easter Frobbit. I hope he brings me and my little brother lots of yummy treats!