The truth is that we are affected by poetry - we love it, hate it, or are indifferent. Yet, it is hard to talk about poetry. If one wants to describe it, he has to use inaccurate and metaphorical expressions. Thus, defining poetry is not an easy task. According to the "Dictionary of Literary Terms- poetry is: .
- metrical writing;.
- writing, that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in .
language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through .
its meanings, sound and rhythm.
Poetry is the deepest expression of thought and feeling. It includes the full gamut of all human experiences, from war poems and epics, through psalms of worship, love sonnets, to nursery rhymes - anything people think about or sing about. We can read it as though we ourselves have shared in those thoughts and those emotions. It can be said that poetry has been helping men and women from all backgrounds and cultures share deep emotional experiences and insights throughout all recorded history. .
Admittedly, everyone has an opinion about poetry, either favourable or not. Anna Kamieñska, for example, thinks that poetry is like "the magic of words-, "a game between intellect and imagination- and "a philosophical musing upon life and oneself-. She teaches that poetry is like a complex mechanism that remains silent, for those who have not got a mechanism responsive to it. (1967:16,98) .
Needless to say, poetry is an art and the material of it is human experience. The substance of poetic art is a language. Kamieñska points out that "a poet works in a word like a sculptor works in a stone and clay."" (1967) .
Nevertheless, one must not forget it is a strenuous and bitter work, a painful toil of giving names to the world. E. E. Cummings defines poetry emphasizing its impact .
upon a man. "Poetry is feeling - not knowing or believing or thinking."" In his opinion almost everybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel.