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Creating beauty with the powerful music of words

A reflection on poetry

Poetry is a dance of words (Photograph provided by pexels)

Poetry is a dance of words (Photograph provided by pexels)

By Elizabeth Hartmann | Echo

“Poems speak of the mortal condition; in poems we muse (as we say) about the tragic and glorious issues of our fragile and brief lives: our passions, our dreams, our failures,” Mary Oliver said in her book “Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse

People have expressed their thoughts and emotions through poetry since ancient times. From the epic adventures of Beowulf to the heartbreaking power of the psalms, poetry is the voice of humanity.

The greatest joys and deepest sorrows of our lives seem to come forth most willingly through poetry. Poetry possesses a unique ability to portray poignant emotions in a way few other forms of art can. Because of this the poem acts as a form of communication between the writer and the reader. The reader’s perspective on the poem gives it more depth and meaning.

“Poems encourage us to notice things that we have missed and to see common things in new ways,” Michael Austin said in “What Kind of Truth is Beauty?: A meditation on Keats, Job, and Spiritual poetry.”

Each word must fight for its place in a poem. Every word and every line is carefully written, re-written and labored over until the writer coaxes out the perfect rhythm and cadence.

The letters form the words. The words create the music. The stanzas whisper a song.

“I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of beauty,” Edgar Allan Poe said in “The Poetic Principle.”

Poetry is a dance of words — black footprints staining white paper and moving the soul.


A View of London

By Hope Bolinger

They say London is made of

fat Globes and warm beef ale

pies and one Eye that

o’er looks the city lights


I have another eye for

cold rain that seeps through

waterproof boots as they

pass by a man in a puddle

blanketed and asking for spare change


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