The Origin of Poetry

Poet’s use poems in order to express their feelings about the world around them. Poetry is a way to express yourself when you don’t know how to directly translate you emotions into prose words. Many poems come from personal experience or something that happens to the poet in real life that they have to write about. For example, in the poem “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop, the poet describes a battle with a fish she caught. Contrary to prose, she does not simply tell you she caught a big fish and leave it at that. She describes in great detail her emotion as she caught it, how the fish acted, and the environment around her.  She beautifully paints a picture of the scenery around her and even the boat she was sitting in. Poetry gives the poet freedom to express his or herself in anyway imaginable.  Poems are often written as extended metaphors in order to describe or compare multiple like objects.

Poetry has been around since the beginning of mankind. They originated as short oral stories and slowly progressed into the poetry we know today. Each and every poet throughout history has their own life story and experiences that make them unique from all the other poets out there. Each of those experiences gives the poet something distinct to write about. Poems come from the heart and the poets use their voice to put a personal take on the world around them.


2 responses to “The Origin of Poetry

  1. I really liked how you described how the author wrote the poem “The Fish”, it was really interesting way to look at it and it helped paint a picture in my head!

  2. I am intrigued by your description of the very early evolution of poems from short oral stories. What forces caused those first oral stories to transform into poems? You have started me thinking about the forces of literary evolution; Darwin, no doubt, would be impressed, too. What does natural selection have to say about our current types of literature?

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