What is a poem?

We explain what a poem is and what its differences are with poetry. In addition, the parts that compose it and some examples.

    1. What is a poem?

A poem is a literary composition of the genre of the lyric , usually of short length, which consists in the subjective description of an emotional, existential state or of some experience. For this, it uses a metaphorical language, abundant in tropes and linguistic turns and in imaginary licenses, more similar to the lyric and the song than to the narration.

Although there may also be prose, poems  are mostly composed in verse , without meaning to adhere to the structures of rhyme and classical metrics, which imposed a punctual amount of syllables per verse . Currently, this literary genre is extremely free in terms of forms, so a poem can be divided into stanzas, songs, or simply flow as poetic prose or prose poetry.

The books of poems are called poems and can consist of anthologies, compilations of an author or a single extensive poem. Conventionally, poetry is classified into subgenres, whose main four are:

  • Hymn Lyric songs that express exalted emotions, of celebration regarding a specific theme. For example:  Hymns to the night  of Novalis.
  • Ode  Similar to hymns, but dedicated to a specific subject, object or person, whose virtues or beauty are proclaimed in the poem. For example: “Ode to a Greek urn” by John Keats.
  • I chose  These are poems of lamentation, in which something lost or says goodbye is crying: illusion, love, life , etc. For example: “Choose the impossible memory” by Jorge Luis Borges.
  • Satire  Satires are burlesque compositions that express indignation or contempt for certain subjects or people, sometimes for pedagogical purposes. For example:  Praise of the foolishness  of Erasmus of Rotterdam.
  1. Poem and poetry

Poem and possessed
It is possible to find the term “poetry” used to refer to a poem.

The terms poem and poetry are often used as synonyms, although they are not . On the one hand, a poem is a text , a writing, and therefore a finished work that we can read, which has an author and has a moment of publication. On the other hand, poetry is a literary genre , that is, one of the areas in which literature is subdivided, and therefore an idea, a concept. Poetry has no author, but is the conceptual category of all poems written and published in literature.

That said, it should be clarified that it is possible to find the term “poetry” used to refer to a poem , as synonyms, when preceded by an indeterminate article (a / a): “Julian wrote me a poetry” is equivalent to “Julian wrote me a poem”.

  1. Parts of a poem

A verse is equivalent to a line of text and the verses make up stanzas.

Poems can vary greatly in their structure and composition, but usually consist of a textual body made of verses . A verse is equivalent to a line of text, which is arbitrarily interrupted to emphasize a certain musicality or rhythm in reading , unlike prose, which is continuous.

The verses make up stanzas : sets of verses separated by blank spaces, equivalent to prose paragraphs. And finally, the total stanzas make up a song, which would be the “acts” or “chapters” of the poem.

Finally, if any, the songs integrate the poem in its entirety.

  1. Love Poems

Some famous love poems are:

  • “Eternal love” by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

The sun may cloud forever;
The sea may dry in an instant;
The axis of the earth may break
Like a weak crystal.
Everything will happen! May death
cover me with his funeral crepe;
But never in me can the
flame of your love be extinguished .

  • “Kisses” (excerpt) by Gabriela Mistral

There are kisses that pronounce
the sentence of condemnatory love on their own,
there are kisses that are given with the look
there are kisses that are given with the memory.

There are silent kisses, noble kisses
there are enigmatic kisses, sincere
there are kisses that are given only souls
there are kisses forbidden, true.

  • “Ode to love” (fragment) by Pablo Neruda

Love, let’s make accounts.
At my age
it is not possible to
deceive or deceive us.
I was a road thief,
I don’t regret it.
A deep minute,
a magnolia broken
by my teeth
and the light of the
celestial moon .

  1. Friendship poems

Some anonymous poems of friendship are:

  • “Friendship” (fragment)

And, that in the sweetness of friendship
there is room for laughter, and,
for shared pleasures.
Because in the dew of the little things,
the heart finds its morning,
and, it takes its freshness.

  • “Some friendships are eternal”

Sometimes you find
a special friendship in life :
that someone who enters your life
completely changes it.
That someone who makes you laugh endlessly;
that someone who makes you believe that
there are really good things in the world .
That someone who convinces you
that there is a door ready
for you to open.
That is an eternal friendship.

  • “Friend”

Your friend is the answer to your needs.
It is your field, that you sow with love,
and you reap with gratitude.
And it is your table,
and the fire of your home.

Some of the most famous exhibitors of the poetic genre were: Homer, Greek poet from the 8th century BC, author of well-known epic poems of great literary value such as the Iliad and the Odyssey; Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (16th century Spanish), also prose writer; Mario Benedetti, most current poet (20th century), creator of a wide collection of poems and also prose; and the English William Shakespeare and William Wordsworth, among others.

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