One thing that people often ask (some of those who don’t run off immediately dragging their children to the opposite corner of the room, at least) is What is poetry?.

There are lots of smart-arse responses to that question, there are also some that sound smart-arse and actually aren’t. There are some types of poetry that fall easily onto the category (poems in form, poems that rhyme or scan, poems written in short lines that “look like poems”), but, as with any art form, there are bits at the edges which fall within some definitions and outside others.

I used to have a succinct working definition of poetry (a piece of writing with the line as a working unit), but I really enjoy some paragraph led and other experimental poetry, I also read one terrible and pretentious book with line base units that I could never consider to be well enough worked to be poetry.

I’m a little bit anti putting things into boxes, anyway. They are always used to exclude things. So do I have any kind of answer to the question? Maybe. A form of words that I choose to experience as poetry seems close, or A piece, generally defined by line, created from heightened and appropriate language.  

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