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Seven Myths about Poetry

By Gary R. Hess. Category: Poetry

Poetry is one of the most beloved forms of literature. It's uniqueness in its ability to give us hope, inspiration, and tranquility through words is unmatched throughout other media. Sadly, with its ever growing popularity it has seen myths also increase.

Today there are many falsehoods about the genre. Late last century a surge took place among young people when teens began writing more and more poetry due to new concepts such as slam poetry and rap music. However, many notions about this literature magnet were formed and seen as truth. Here are seven myths about poetry and why they are not true:

  • Poetry must rhyme.
    In fact, poetry doesn't have to rhyme. Poetry doesn't have to do anything--normally it is just good practice to have rhythm and meters. However, there are exceptions to all rules.
  • Poetry must be a set length.
    A poem can be as short as one letter or as long as one billion. It just doesn't matter. Actually, poetry doesn't even have to have words or letters at all. A picture or photograph, even a drawing could be considered a poem in the right circumstance.
  • Poetry requires no thinking.
    Actually, it does. Just like any art really. There are some people who can write poems right off the top of their head and make perfect poems; however, most of us can't. We need to think before we write and think about what we wrote, then edit, then edit some more and write some more.
  • The best poetry is written when authors are depressed.
    You could make the argument that more poetry is written while authors are depressed, thus the chance of better poetry due to the amount. However, even this might not be true. Many famous poets have written their best works while in love--Rumi for example.
  • Poetry must make sense.
    Not entirely.Most forms of poetry do need to make sense. However, dada doesn't.
  • Poetry must have correct grammar.
    Not even close. Of course, many who have listened to music within the past decade know this already.
  • Big words make better poems.
    Edgar Allan Poe is a great example to dismiss this notion. Big words should only be used when they are absolutely necessary, unless of course your purpose is to make a poem which isn't.

Many people believe poetry must be a specific way. However, that simply isn't true. A poem is a poem as long as it has rhythm, meaning, and uses the senses of the reader to its advantage.