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Is poetry wilful?

Reading Simon Armitage's book on the Pennine Way I was a little struck with his comments on poetry at the start. He says, "As a poet, I am naturally contrary. If most writers are writing prose, then mostly I'm writing something else. Poetry, by definition, is an alternative, and an obstinate one at that. It often refuses to reach the righ-hand margin or even the bottom of the page. Prose fills a space, like a liquid poured in from the top, but poetry occupies it, arrays itself in formation, sets up camp and refuses to budge. It is a dissenting and wilful art form, and mostof its practitioners are signed-up members of the awkward brigade."

(All this by way of explaining why he is walking the Pennine Way 'back to front'.)

A valid interpretation of poetry, do you think?

I suppose Armitage's definition is as valid a definition of what poetry is,and poets are, as any other. There are as many definitions as there are poets.  
Poetry for me is a way of writing about something, an attempt to convey its essence, that can't be managed in prose.

       Big Readers Forum Index -> All things poetic
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