Poetry is ancient. The most primitive peoples have used it, and the most civilized have cultivated it. In all ages and in all countries, poetry has been written and eagerly read or listened to by all kinds and conditions of people by statesmen, lawyers, farmers, doctors, scientists, clergymen, philosophers, soldiers, kings and queens.
In all ages, poetry has been regarded as important, not simply for pleasure, but as something central to each individual's existence, something of unique value, and something which makes us feel better off for having and which we are spiritually impoverished without.
Initially, poetry might be defined as a language that says more and says it more intensely than does ordinary language. In order to understand this fully, we need to understand what it is that poetry says. Poetic language is employed on different occasions to say quite different kinds of things. Therefore, poetry is language of different uses. While novels, short stories and plays bring us a sense and a perception of life, their concern is with experience. The poet may create new experiences for the reader in which the reader can participate and which will give him or her a greater awareness and understanding of the world.
Poetry is the literary vehicle which is not only an aid to living but a means of living. For example, an encyclopedia can offer information on elephants. You can discover where they live, what they eat and how they breed. This information is only for practical purposes only. You can grasp the ivory of the elephant, but not its soul. The encyclopedia will not touch on its majesty, wild grandeur, strength or power. The poem can turn the elephant from a...