that may have lives of their own...

What makes a poem a poem?

A reasonable beginning?

Start with a personal definition:

poem (pō ׳ əm): 1a. words; words in the mind; words in a dream or an idea b. words spoken or not spoken, with or without voice; words in a grouping that represent, that state, that imply, that sound; words on the tongue, emphasized or not 2a. words intrinsic to the universe, to living things, to dead things b. words that may or may not reveal themselves; words that may have lives of their own, independent of any expected or implied existences or creations c. words that need no host in order to be 3. words placed on the page or spoken in such a manner as to provoke a response in or from the speaker, reader, or listener 4. something stolen outright or by accident from existent or nonexistent sources 5a. words that may or may not carry their own music, rhythms, and tone b. should carry a sense of place, time, or space 6. words are miracles (e.g., an invitation, according to William Stafford, to happen 7. in some instances: numbers, drawings, physical or natural objects, found objects, certain foods or plants, or musical or artistic pieces of various devisings


In the cauldron:
lyrical or narrative arc
special conveyance for language
conduit for thought or reflection
a created or inherent mood or tone
dwells wholly or in part in the real,
driven by image, theme, story, music, or language
given over to any one or more of possible forms
       and their variations
known by its look or feeling or sound
must surely have its own motive
must have an audience to be completed
must exist in some variation(s) of the real, the natural,
       the figurative, the imaginative, or the universal


James Owens said...

A high-order definition which is a poem in its own right. If more dictionaries were like this, the world would be a better, more thoughtful place. I love the idea of "words stolen by accident from non-existent sources"

sam of the ten thousand things said...

It did come out as a poem in its own way. Thanks for reading, James.

Mrs Slocombe said...

It did, it did, and its reasonable beginning made it so.

Do you know Andrea Porter?
If not, do.

Anonymous said...

Truly an exquisite definition of the purest evil, you really have a firm grasp of whatever otherwordly channel that poetry comes from -Gu3ssWh0?-

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks, MS and A, for the read.