Discover what poetry is and let yourself be enveloped by its magic

What is poetry, you say while you stick your blue pupil / In my pupil / What is poetry? And you ask me? / Poetry… is you.

sound familiar? This rhyme by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer is an excellent example of poetry. If you also want to express your feelings through paper, but don’t know what poetry is, don’t worry! Today we’ll tell you everything you need to know about poetry and poems.

Since the human being developed the ability to express himself through words, several linguistic manifestations emerged. Among them, there is one that represents the pinnacle of language, because what is poetry if not the art of the word in its maximum expression!

Although many people know poetry and have a general idea of what it is, most people do not really know what poetry means and what its importance is within the world of literature and the arts. So, if you have ever wondered what are the characteristics of poetry and what types of poetry exist, this is your chance to find out.

let yourself be enveloped by the magic of words and discover with us what poetry is!

what is poetry?

Poetry is a literary genre through which human beings are able to express in written form their feelings, emotions and reflections on beauty, love, life, death and many other topics. In other words, poetry is a different form of language that allows us to express what is sometimes inexplicable with everyday language.

According to the Oxford Languages definition, poetry is a literary composition that is conceived as an artistic expression of beauty through words, especially those that are subject to the measure and cadence of verse.

In the past, poetry was written only in verses formed by a fixed number of syllables (tetrasyllabic, hexasyllabic, alexandrine, etc.), a certain distribution of the accents, and a certain number of syllables.), a certain distribution of accents and a rhyme, which would result in a particular rhythm and type of composition: copla, seguidilla, redondilla, cuarteto, etc.

However, according to the definition of poetry proposed by the RAE, poetry is the manifestation of beauty or aesthetic feeling through words, in verse or prose.therefore, nowadays, poetry can be composed in verse as well as in prose and it is still poetry.

Poetry is a literary art that allows us to see the world in a different way and helps us to develop our creativity. There are poems that we know by heart, some that reveal our deepest feelings and others that portray the identity of an entire people.

And, if you wonder what poetry is for poets, we could say that it is the means they use to express themselves and make their opinion known about certain topics, in a beautiful way, making a wise use of words and literary resources.

Whether you consult this article for an assignment or to write your own poems in February 14 cards for your friends, learning what is poetry will be of great use to you.

If you want to discover what are the characteristics of poetry, read on and let’s continue exploring the fascinating universe of this literary genre.

libro abierto con poema y flores

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what are the characteristics of poetry?

To better understand the meaning of poetry, we have to learn to recognize its characteristics and thus differentiate it from other literary expressions such as narrative or theater.

Therefore, here are some of the main characteristics of poetry:

Poetry can be written in verse or prose.
Poetry has rhythm and rhyme.
To compose a poem, poets make use of literary devices such as metaphor, hyperbole, etc.
Poetry is an excellent exercise in creative writing and tests your skills as a writer.
Modern poetry makes extensive use of free verse and assonant rhyme.
Poetry has varied over time and adapts to the expressive needs of the poets of each era.

If you are interested in starting to write poetry, don’t forget to check the spelling rules first and surprise everyone with your poems.

mujer escribiendo poesia

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what is the origin of poetry?

It is difficult to establish the origin of poetry, since its birth is closely linked to that of language itself. however, Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions dating back to 2,600 B.C. have been found, which are considered to be the first recorded poetic manifestation.

These are the lyrics of a number of songs covering different genres (laments, odes, elegies, hymns), most of which have religious significance.

Later, poetry evolved and became one of the most important literary genres. Let us briefly review its history.

Ancient poetry

In classical antiquity, that is, in Ancient Greece, epic poetry was the most important among all the types of poetry that existed at that time.

As you know, poetry was used to narrate historical or mythological events and poets recited it orally at festivals and rites.

Medieval poetry

During the Middle Ages poetry was used to express Christian religiosity. This explains why the poetic works of medieval poetry exalted Christian values and the figure of God.

Contemporary poetry

In contemporary times, poetry was renewed and reinvented at different times. But there is no doubt that it is the avant-garde poetry, which emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century, which completely revolutionized poetry.

The avant-garde poets created new ways of writing poems in which it was no longer obligatory to use rhythm and rhyme. moreover, it is avant-garde poetry that experiments with language, image and sound.

poema escrito en una maquina de escribir

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what are the types of poetry?

Now that you know what poetry is and know its characteristics, let’s see what are the main types of poetry:

1. Epic poetry

Epic poetry is characterized by narrating legendary or historical events such as battles or wars.
The aim of epic poetry is to exalt these events so that they remain in the memory of the nations that fought in such warlike confrontations.
Epic poems are composed of long verses in which events are described and dialogues between the characters of the story are presented.
To better understand what epic poetry is, you can consult The Iliad and The Odyssey, by the poet Homer. Both works narrate battles between Greeks and Trojans.


Basic spelling guide to improve your writing

Write correctly using this basic spelling guide.

2. Dramatic poetry

Dramatic poetry was poetry created to be performed in the theater .
In dramatic poetry, a situation or a series of situations is developed around a certain theme.
The aim of dramatic poems was to make the audience feel moved by the adventures and misadventures of the characters.
The most important works of dramatic poetry were those written by Sophocles. An example of this is Oedipus Rex, a drama that speaks of the inevitable and tragic fate of its protagonist.

3. Lyric poetry

We cannot talk about what poetry is without talking about lyric poetry. Although there are several types of poetry,most people think that lyric poetry is the only or the most importantone.
This type of poetry is poetry that used to be recited to music. in Ancient Greece, an instrument called a lyre was used to accompany it, hence the name lyric poetry.
Through lyric poetry, the poets of that time expressed their feelings and thoughts. Lyric poetry is a composition that expresses the subjectivity of each poet.
In its composition, verse, stanza, rhythm and rhyme were used. nowadays, it is lyric poetry that is generally identified as poetry.

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4. Choral poetry

Choral poetry is poetry performed by a group of voices.
It was recited in ancient times by a group of people, each one interpreting one of the characters of the poem.
Choral poetry was recited as a chant or homage to the Greek gods.

5. Bucolic poetry

Bucolic poetry was that which expressed in its verses the idealization and celebration of life inthe countryside.
The inspiration of bucolic poems was the country and pastoral life .
One of the most important works of bucolic poetry was precisely Virgil’s Bucolics.

have you read any of the poetic works we have mentioned? which of them is your favorite?

If you want to start writing poetry, you can be inspired by the ways of writing these types of poetry. Although it is not necessary to pigeonhole yourself in a specific genre of poetry, because, as Majo Moirón says in her online course the art of writing, “all genres are hybrids, they cross each other”.

In other words, you can take characteristics from each of the types of poetry that exist and create a poem with your own rules.

los tipós de poesia en un libro abierto con rosas y petalos

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what are the benefits of reading and writing poetry?

The poetic literary genre does not enjoy the popularity it should, as most people tend to prefer narrative works over poetic works. However, there are several benefits of reading poetry.

Here are some good reasons why you should read poetry.

1. Poetry is a means of expression

In poetic works you will find how feelings and ideas are described through words. This will help you to better understand what you feel and to express it in a clearer way.

2. Reading poetry exercises your brain

The mental effort required to understand the changing meanings of words and decipher the metaphors in poems improves cognitive skills and contributes to mental flexibility .

In addition, reading poetry also greatly enriches your vocabulary and has a positive impact on your memory. the pleasure you get from the poems of your favorite authors often leads you to easily remember whole verses or stanzas.

3. Poetry is a refuge

Poetry can serve as a companion during the grieving process or when you are going through intense emotional states. By identifying with what the poets you are reading write, you feel that you are not alone and that there is someone else who is facing the same situations as you.

4. Reading poetry makes you more creative

One of the most important aspects if we want to understand in depth what poetry is is the relationship that this literary genre has with creativity.

Poetry and creativity go hand in hand in different ways. Creativity is synonymous with original thought. and is there anything more original than poetry? There is no doubt that poetry is the most original literary expression that exists.

No matter how old you are, poetry develops your creativity. that’s why reading poetry for children is recommended for the youngest members of the household. In addition, children’s poetry offers songs or rhyming compositions that are interesting and fun for children.

ready! If you were wondering what poetry is for or why you should read poetry, you already have several reasons to enjoy this literary genre.

persona leyendo poemas mientras toma el te

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that’s it! Surely now you’re more sure what poetry is and it will be much easier for you to identify what kind of poetry you’re reading the next time you consult a poem.

Hopefully this article will motivate you to give poetry a try and start reading and writing your own poems. Also, if you want to become a professional writer and dedicate your life to literature, you can start your way to success by taking a look at our online writing courses section.

are you ready to read or write poetry? We hope that starting today you can enjoy life one poem at a time.

see you soon!

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