Ask.com answers my query with the following: Poem is from the Greek poema, a noun derived from the verb poie-o, to make or do. Poets are often called makers.Thanks to my dear friend Linda Moore for bringing this derivation to my attention originally.
It is this making that keeps swirling through my thoughts. Too many poets are too much in their heads. We are a solitary sort in our creative process. But learning to allow the environment of the poem and all it is striving to achieve be a welcoming place for me is the work at hand. In writing a poem, I believe myself as the source of the work, rather than the conduit. In making a poem, I am a creative first responder to the moment of noticing, awareness that opens the window for a breeze that is inspiration. It is the mirror that reflects this moment in time. I, as poet, will commit those images, moments, sounds, thoughts, words to breath and into type. I respond to this life we have been dreamed into with my verse.
It is in this making that we poets must be willing to be most honest. It is with the intention of honest reflection that the best poems are written, those poems that reflect the world to itself through the individual lens of that artist who commits to the act of making the poem, establishing contact. It is through the poet’s lens that we can see through windows of the places and times where and when others have lived, are living.
We teach a great deal through poetic verse. We see with the eyes of a fly, so many lenses. The poet must be conscious and speak for, to, and with the greater community. We have done this for thousands of years. We teach language through the sound and meter of poetry, even in pre-reading. It is in the pulse of our blood as a people. Poetry is organic, more than the towers and lecture halls of academia may have allowed us to believe throughout the 20th century. More than the media of the age would accept. Poetry is for everyone. We enjoy it more than many admit or recognize.
The myth of poetry being too elusive for the average person, too challenging, is failing, is waning. There is a poem for everyone, a poem that speaks to that person’s individual experience and understanding. A poem with which that reader feels competent in how they interpret the words and metaphor. We will never all like the same poem. But we will each be able to identify with one poem we rely upon or always remember.
The job of the poet is to catalog by using the wealth and lush capacity of language and image, to reflect everything of the human condition, of history, of nuance, of the marvel that this speck of the universe provides, as well as its pain, or our outrage.
My job is to create and to share, to communicate and connect. My job is to promote my creative art in all the ways it serves us and to encourage poetry as a viable aspect of lifelong learning as well as personal and cultural expression. I encourage others to make things as well.
From the Owl Publishing web site I fell upon, the following quote: Prose is when all the lines except the last go on to the end. Poetry is when some of them fall short of it. Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
The Free Dictionary on line offers this definition:
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