What isn’t poetry? Is it some coincidence that everything has a natural rhythm encapsulating it in a bubble of natural existence? The answer is yes. But we’re not here for philosophy or scientific conduct, we’re here to discuss semantics. Some antics, as I call them (for I am inept), are arbitrary meanings people assign to noises they make to signify contact between pieces of chewed bubble-gum in flesh suits which we call ourselves. Is poetry an objective object, a beast for examining (autopsy) or a tree to breathe with? I don’t know, have I taken my medication today? Within this little waltz of paragraphs with incomplete metaphors and dodgy aims, we’ll paint pictures of two separate writers, Archibald Macleish and Marianne Moore, with different yet seemingly similar aims at what the meanings assigned to poetry are truly.
Our first poet, Macleish (who for time constraints we shall call “Archie”), who seemingly states something about poetry in his poem Ars Poetica (basically The Art of Poetry in Latin. O, the vestiges we cling to in order to feign importance!), perhaps something ‘meaningful’, if you catch my cold. Within Ars Poetica, Archie Mac lays down a neat and simple jet disjointed verse for us to savor. About as simple as a modernized poem can get, his gist proposes that written verse is subjective, but also that the more succinct the verse, the more potent the message. Less is more, a common expression used in writing seminars and any art-form wishing to tell us a story.
The idea that a poem should be “Palpable and mute, as a globed fruit.” Archie writes this even as an exemplary source from which someone could imitate or draw inspiration from. It is simple, drenched in simile, yet not bereft of meaning. To sum up the art of poetry, poetry is akin to a lovely breath, an instant that stays with the reader for longer than the brief moments dedicated to reading or reciting the passage, and that regardless of author intention, the reader will take from it what it will, like an incident of monumental importance, or a banana tree.
Our second and last poetress is Marianne Moore, who, for the sake of mine and your time we shall refer to as Mary or Moore. Her poem is called, simply enough,...