Academy Log: What is poetry, again?

Presumably, we all know a poem when we see one, but how do we know?

Over the course of this series you’ve been spoonfed the F4Q, the Fundamental 4 Questions that every poem answers.

  1. What is the form of the poem, open or shut?
  2. Who is the voice of the poem; 1st-2nd-, or 3rd-person speaker?
  3. What kind of poem is it, narrative or lyric?
  4. What type of verse is it; rhymingblank, or free verse?

On top of that, you’ve been subjected to quotes and poems attempting to define it.

So, what comes next? Well, you may recall that, while you were asked to come up with your own definition, you were not asked to write a poem defining poetry.

Your final mission, then, is this: 
  • Look over your definition of poetry;
  • Decide how using the F4Q would best serve versifying your definition; and,
  • Write your own Ars Poetica.

What are poems? Poems are whatever you can ask these four questions and get answers. Poems are whatever you or anyone else needs or wants them to be. It could even be a friggin’ Facebook status update.

Read a poem.
Write a poem.
Repeat.