Poetry in Modern Times


How do we perceive poetry in Modern Times?

Not many of us may be as ecstatic about poetry. It may seem old, outdated and boring. In current times, poetry still exists.   Some people can truly appreciate the art of poetry. We still hear poetry in songs or read one or two poems on the internet as we stumble upon them.

Aside from the old system of poetry, there is a new system of hidden poetry. We often read inspirational quotes, proverbs, or even shorter forms like newspaper headlines and company slogans. Why should one call all these concepts as “hidden forms of poetry” or “poetry transformed?”

According to various dictionaries, poetry means; “Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm.”  From this, poetry has a special expression of feelings and ideas. Inspirational quotes, proverbs, newspaper headlines and company slogans are filled with special expressions and feelings. This reflects the very idea of poetry, except they are the poetry transformed in the modern day, making poetry stay strong in our everyday lives, just in a more subtle way. Although they are lacking the distinctive rhythm ingredient, they have rhythms of their own, such as a different intonation in phrase pronunciation or a more directional rhythm. For instance, we all know Skittles and its famous phrase, “Taste the rainbow.”  The phrase is pronounced with either confidence or in a whispering manner – as though telling someone a secret.

“While a picture is worth a thousand words, a poem can paint a thousand pictures.”-Sparrow

It is well known that poetry predated literacy, thus, making it hard to find the first poem ever created. There is a theory that poetry was utilized as a vehicle to tell stories about life events from generation to generation via singing and reciting. In reality, it is easier to memorize a song with a rhythm than just a story, thus, the theory serves well.  A few oldest poetry pieces, which still survived today are the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor (written about 4500 B.C.E) and the Epic of Gilgamesh (written about half a millennium later).

To some of us, poetry is no longer a form of art. We would rather engage in some other activity. To others, poetry stays as a form of art. One would define poetry as a condensed everlasting story capturing the true essence of archetype forms, such as; good and evil, the pursuit of purpose, the curiosity about the future, the joys of experiencing the now, and the sentimental longing for the past. Poetry is ever-evolving from one form to another, still carrying a message, a feeling and a formation of significance. Whether you are a poetry fan or not, it’s always a good idea to visit a bookstore or surf the net and read one poem, seeing what meaning you can find in it.

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