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H.
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Beauty & the purpose of poetry.

14 Years Ago


Plato once wrote in his Theory of Forms that beauty was itself beautiful, and existed on a plane much greater than our own.  (Never mind the the risk he ran of infinite regression by saying that.)  For we as humans did not define beauty--like equality or truth, we already knew what it was.

That's really what's great about poetry (at least for me)--taking the ephemeral moments the occur in our seemingly mundane live--or perhaps the lives of others, depending on the subject matter--and finding in them that which is immutable--beauty.

That's what poetry is for me.   But that raises two questions:

1) What is beauty?

2) Is the purpose of poetry to really find the beauty in the subject matter?  If not, what is its purpose?
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D
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[no subject]

14 Years Ago


As cliche as it may sound, I am not so sure that beauty can be defined. I had a very clear idea about beauty when I was younger, but as I've grown and come to understand the ways of the world I've also realized that beauty really cannot be pinned down. It's fleeting, always changing. For that reason I have reached a point in my life where everything is beautiful. A rose may be beautiful in a manner different from that of a dung beetle, but when you come right down to it everything resonates with raw sensation.

Anything that has the power to impress itself upon my mind is beautiful to me, regardless of its nature.

Regarding the poet's role in reflecting beauty, I always think of William Wordsworth's assertion that poetry is the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling". There is bad poetry, yes. But as long as a piece is crafted lovingly, with a clear eye and a strong sentiment to drive the writer, I think it does its job accurately. With that being said, I think that truly beautiful poetry most often flowers when it is written for the writers themselves. No reviews, no pats on the backs from friends or critics. Just plain, raw emotion on paper. That is poetry and beauty to me.

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Nay
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14 Years Ago


In the fashion of the "eye of the beholder" adage, describing beauty is subjective and I'm willing to consider anybody's perception as contribution to that definition. Mood or whimsy influence whether or not I appreciate what they see, but poetry is often the best medium for opening up my mind's eye. 

Those authors I find relative, their pieces are like visions rather than explanations--bringing me the moment of impact, less all the backstory and tangents.  Transcending details to find the essence--like D-san put it, the raw sensation.  The poem could be long or short and still express itself succinctly, whereas in prose I find myself distracted by syntax and filler.