Poetry is hard to define.
Sometimes, it’s best defined by denying those aspects that most associate with a poem. Rhyme, meter, strict structure, even alliteration and consonance. Then again, perhaps the definition of poetry, of what constitutes a poem, is very personal.
To me, the essence of a poem is the creation and sharing of a wave-like sensation that carries both the writer and the reader along an emotive trail, sometimes brief, sometimes expansive, as though one were surfing but on a gently melodious wave floating over a series of profound abysses into which one might chose to wander, lost but questing. Beauty or horror may be present, but perhaps they can be melded subliminally into something incomprehensibly sublime, perceptible only in a silent and indiscernible language, one only the soul can fully understand.
Then again, there’s rhyme and meter, strict structure, even alliteration and consonance; there’s metaphor and simile; allusion and illusion. Shades and shadows and echoes and rainbows, hummingbirds and dragonflies and sometimes just dragons, … or maybe frogs.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at email@example.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.