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What is Poetry

            It is very difficult to have a sole definition of poetry that fits all of its different structures, styles, and subject matters. Is it a way of thinking or a formal versification? Does it consist solely of words, or are there visual and/or performance aspects to it? What should and shouldn't be included? A typical dictionary might define poetry as literary composition written in verse with meaning. This simple definition only characterizes poetry on the surface, but there is so much more to poetry than just words. People can never define poetry; however they are able to attempt to describe its properties, functions, and characteristics as clearly as possible. The most distinctive feature of poetry is the presence of line breaks. Poetry has a new line begin even though the sentence or paragraph is not over and there is still room on the page. Poetry is not easily demarcated, rather it's a continuum.
             Poetry is an old mode of expression; among the variety of forms of human expression, poetry has always had an important place. It has always stood apart from all other forms of literature. It is the basis of every branch of literary and artistic expression. Poetry is why paintings, films, novels, and musical compositions are poetic. Poets say that poetry is a way to look at the individual and collective experience of life. They may serve a purpose as in teaching a lesson, describing a mood, sharing an emotion, or conveying an idea that the author wishes. Many authors have written poems stating their own definitions of poetry to expand on that of the dictionary. Poets use language to express and communicate an idea: to make it tangible in a form that can be shared. In "Dream Deferred" by Langston Hughes, it seems as if he is writing from the perspective of a local during the time of the Harlem Renaissance, who finally has the ability to dream of a better life, but does not achieve it.

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