Poetry is the rhythm of all things, in all things, and all that is and is not. It is the sensibility which transcends all other senses. It is energy.
A poem is only one expression of this energy.
Poetry is a history, a record of feeling, just as our DNA is a historical record of our biology.
“…the conception of poetry as a living whole of all the poetry that has ever been written.” T.S. Eliot
Our bodies dance, and it is poetry, yoga is the body expressing poetry.
Our minds feel poetry when ideas connect. When we learn and teach we are connecting with that rhythm, that beat.
Our spirit hears the song, the poetry, in dreams, in visions, and in beliefs.
Poetry is the language of being–not simply words on a page–it is the ultimate expression of life.
In his Preface to Lyrical Ballads, William Wordsworth defines Poetry as:
“the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.”
Powerful feelings permeate our entire being. Anyone who practices yoga will tell you that when they release their bodies and minds in a pose, they release feelings that have been trapped in the body. When we dance, we are submitting ourselves to the natural movement of the body.
When we are thinking, when we are trying to problem solve, the activity of collaboration or the semblance of coming to an answer or solution can give us this feeling of transcendence. The intellectual understands each breakthrough as an event, something greater than themselves that has come from the culmination of all they have learned, and have yet to learn.
When we experience ecstasy, the spirit is free, we release ourselves to a collective experience, we experience unity.
This is poetry.
Within the marriage of oppositions is the ultimate poetry. When we can accept what is without having to change it or control it, there is poetry.
Relationships are comparative poetry, the union of two poetic forces exchanging energy. In others we see ourselves and the world around us revived.
Poetry is the voice of the voiceless. It cannot speak itself entirely because it is unintelligible in its entirety. Poetry is in the things we know but cannot explain, it is the chaos-embracing stillness of the mind, the movement of the body, the sound of the silence.
When we dream, we dream poems. Self-created riddles of life are behind the eyes of everyone who lives, and the only way approximate their messages is through self-expression.
The poet writes the rhythm, just as the dancer moves to it, and the artist creates through it.
“No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead.” T.S. Eliot from Tradition and the Individual Talent (1921)
So too, our lives are continuously measured on the basis of what has come before us. We renew the spirit of the past and surrender it to the future.
Humans express themselves as poetry, we observe, record, and recreate the world through ourselves.
Because it is a language I understand that speaks to everyone who ever was, is, or will be. Hear the Voice of the Bard…
More practically I am answering this question for a program I am developing for Poetic Therapy. I will be launching the full program in the fall…. Instead of a therapist, a poet, with some real-world guidance credentials…. Stay tuned.