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Famous Writings on Poetry

By Gary R. Hess. Category: Poetry

Since poetry is and always has been one of the most famous genres of literature, there have been many great writings about the subject. From Dante to Poe, these authors have described exactly what they feel poetry is and should be. Of course, every author has a different version of what they should expect to read when combing through the mystical words. Nonetheless, these famous authors' writings should be taken as poetry gospel. Read them, remember them, and put them into effect. You will surely become a better author.

Throughout history there have been many essays and other writings on the aspects of poetry. Some of the more known include "The Philosophy of Composition" and "The Poetics". These famous writings have been read continuously like clockwork by poets throughout the ages. Not only do they provide a great incite into what a poem should look like, but they also lead to inspiration and betterment of the literature.

Furthermore, these famous works not only describe what the author feels about poetry, but includes ways to improve ones own work. In Poe's "The Philosophy of Composition", he claims he considers every aspect of a poem, including the terms "Nevermore" and "Lenore". By doing this, he controls the entire writing and meaning which is perceived by the reader. Even the vowels within some words hold more meaning than the definition itself.

"The Poetics", although outdated, gives an interesting look at what poetry is and was through the eyes of Aristotle. He attempts to explain what poetry is and the genres within. Although not influential during his time, during the Middle Ages the essay stood as a standard for the classification of poetry.

Writings which should be standard reading for all young poets:

Edgar Allan Poe's The Philosophy of Composition (Download eBook) - Edgar Allan Poe was a fantastic journalist and uses it as a great arena for describing his thoughts on composition and poetry.
Edgar Allan Poe's The poetic principle (Download eBook) - Poe at it again.
Aristotle's The Poetics (Download eBook) - Aristotle describes the three types of poetry and his own view on what poetry is.
Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet (Download eBook) - Something every poet should read.

These works are not meant to be read only once or twice, but continuously throughout your poetry writing career. They help refine our work and act as a second conscious when criticizing our own work.