What is poetry?

Before diving into the deep thought of what poetry really is today in class, I thought poetry was similar to math; That is structured and has a formula to guide the writer to write an effective poem. By this, I mean that I thought poetry was not flexible at all because whenever I approached any form of poetry, I would stumble upon barriers which included the types of poems that exist (the ones that were taught to me, at least) such as limericks or haikus to be the only forms of poetry. I’ve always thought poems were only poems by the way they are structured like an equation in math. Our discussion today turned my thoughts upside down because all of the ideas of poetry we had discussed completely contradicted what I knew until today. We learned in class today that poetry has no barriers and pretty much anything can be called poetry as long as it is labelled that way. I definitely agree with Kenneth Goldsmith’s definition of poetry where he says, “However, if John Cage theoretically claimed that any sound can be music, then we logically must conclude that, properly framed, any language can be poetry.“ I find that Goldsmith`s definition sums up almost every other definition of poetry. Some of these definitions describe poetry as something that snaps you into a different state of mind or something that marries sound and meaning. I wonder if  the rule for other forms of art can be as freely constructed as poetry can; Are forms of music or the visual arts directed solely by the imagination and free will as well?


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