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Poems and Poetry - The Heart of a Poet

Poetry Has Form and Structure

Shakespeare's Sonnet 18.  Iambic pentameter first appeared in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in late 14th century.

Shakespeare's Sonnet 18. Iambic pentameter first appeared in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in late 14th century.

Poets have been writing poetry since time began. Poems begin in the head and heart, not with the pen. A poet is not necessarily someone who writes poems, but is someone who sees the world poetically, and is able to express it by way of language.

Most people can compose a poem, but the simple act of writing doesn't make a poet. A poet looks at the world and sees poetry, in everything, and is able to express it with specific language. A visual artist may see the world through images and is able to express it with paint. A musician may hear the world and express it with sounds.

A poet therefore, must be able to use language to convey emotion, depth, reality, fantasy, hope, despair, love, death, illusion.

Without poetry, humanity has nowhere to hang its soul. A good poem can give us hope or laughter, tears, joy. A great poem can remind us of the magnitude of life itself. Life is so multidimensional, if we dare to enter into the life of a poem.

How Is a Poet Inspired?

The poet has the task of crafting language in order to give inspiration, in whatever form, to the reader. The world is the poets canvas. There are some poems waiting to be born, begging to be written. A poet will know when this happens.

A poet can be inspired at any moment, in the most unlikely environments, by the most seemingly, non-poetic topics or situations.

It could be the look in the eye of a passerby, or the sound of an unrelenting wind, the horrific image of a war torn road, the causal glance into the blue of the sky, the complexity of disease or famine, the beauty of love or its painful departure. Poetry is the ability to express what readers need to feel.

Part One: Life ~ V1~

"If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain."

Emily Dickinson ~

The heart of a poet belongs to the world. A poet writes for the masses realizing the reader is an individual. Once the poem is written and published for others to read and discover, now the poem belongs to the reader.

It is this relationship between the reader and the poem that is the very heart of a poet. A reader will bring what he brings to the poem and make it meaningful. The poet’s work is accomplished. A poem is like any work of art in this respect, it has individual meaning in understanding and perception.


What Is the Heart of a Poet?

I have written poems in which readers assumed I was writing about a personal experience. This is certainly not the case. A poet must be able to write in such a manner that it conveys a real experience that may be universal in feeling. And of course, poets will use real life experiences as inspiration, and yet be able to separate themselves from the poem and appeal to the whole of humanity.

Composing a poem requires skill, knowledge of language, styles of poetry and figures of speech, feeling, and a selflessness, wanting to express. A poet must read poetry.

A Noiseless, Patient Spider~

" NOISELESS, patient spider,

I mark'd, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;

Mark'd how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,

It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;

Ever unreeling them--ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,

Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,

Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, --seeking the spheres, to connect them

Till the bridge you will need, be form'd--till the ductile anchor hold;

Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul."

Walt Whitman~

Poetry is the lifeblood of civilization, giving it meaning and reason, hopelessness, joy, depravity, serenity, humor, recklessness and abandon, humility, compassion, love, death, life, a sense of purpose. The heart of a poet weaves a thread of humanity throughout the world. Enjoy it, read it often, compose it with love and respect.

How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry - Ed Hirsch

The Raven - Edgar Allen Poe - (a favorite of mine)

Thank You For Reading and Please Feel Free to Leave a Comment.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on October 30, 2016:

I see you are a poet

Scroll to Continue

For your eyes can see

The thoughts of every artist

In a painting by the sea

And without a poet

Songs would never be


I love this Rebakah, Blessings

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on March 07, 2016:

Thank you for this hub filled with so much appreciation and insights on one of my favourite subjects: poetry.

You nailed it and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Holly from Lone Star State on January 07, 2015:

I can't believe I haven't seen this before. I love how you say that a poem belongs to the reader once it is published. I couldn't agree more. Great write- thanks for sharing.


rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on August 05, 2014:

Audrey, thanks so much! I wrote this hub at the time of the Patron of the ARts contest. I thought it might help some of the writers who entered their work. I appreciate your kind words!

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on August 04, 2014:

Hi Rebekah - Thank you for sharing this hub about the making of a poet. The quotes from other poets added to your hub. Your own poems are a joy to read. You made this poetry hub into a large look at the realm of the poet, and it is far from a short poetry hub. The words make the hub. Sharing, Blessings, Audrey


elijagod from Abuja - Nigeria on June 03, 2014:

I enjoy reading your poems

Thanks for sharing !

And thanks for the educative link you provided, i know they will be use full to me even to other who stumble at your page to read.

Joe from north miami FL on May 30, 2014:

I've actually recently written quite a few poems on here and always been a poetry writer. I like the information you've listed and I have enjoyed reading the sample poems throughout. I'd love it if you'd revise some of my poems, you seem very knowledgeable.

Jennifer from New Jersey on June 17, 2013:

Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind compliment!

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on June 17, 2013:

Thanks Theater girl! I appreciate your comment. You're a fantastic writer. I love your poetic style.

Jennifer from New Jersey on June 17, 2013:

I love the information and the way this essay is written. Thanks for sharing!

CMarie from York, Maine on November 30, 2012:

One day at a time ... Yes it is!

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on November 29, 2012:

Hi Cher, Thanks for wandering over to my poetry hub. It's nice to meet you! I'm always so happy to see comments on these poetry hubs, hoping that my words can inspire others and bring beautiful feelings your way.

Life is so full, isn't it?? :)

CMarie from York, Maine on November 29, 2012:

I just wandered over... This is Fantastic! Thank you! "A great poem can remind us of the magnitude of life itself" - "Without poetry humanity has nowhere to hang it's soul" - Cher

Eiddwen from Wales on October 15, 2012:

So beautiful!!!

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on March 21, 2012:

Thanks for reading Vellur and phdast7. I appreciate your comments.

phd, Thanks so much. It's really nice to hear from a college professor. I wrote this in preparation for the HubPages Patron of the Arts contest last November. I served as one of the members of the poetry panel. It was an amazing experience reading so many poems. I'm glad you enjoyed the selections I used in this hub. I think they are both perfectly penned.

My pleasure to share your hubs!

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on March 20, 2012:

rebekah - I absolutely loved this Hub. You used the most poetic of prose to describe poetry, the poet's vision, and his/her responsibility to the eventual, but as yet unseen and unknown reader. Marvelously lyrical and inspiring writing. :)

BTW - I have certainly noticed and greatly appreciate when you SHARE one of my Hubs and I am grateful for your reference to my work in the Forums. Thank you kindly. :)

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 02, 2012:

You have written about poetry and poets so very well. Loved your hub. Voted up.

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on March 01, 2012:

So nice to see you leni! Thank you so much, and I'm happy to hear you enjoyed reading this hub and the generous comments.

HP has such a fantastic arts community that is very active and supportive. Christopher Walkin has the perfect voice to recite The Raven, doesn't he?

lyns, thanks! That's a great compliment you've shared!

@PDXKarokeGuy, an appreciative shout-out for sharing my hub! :)

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on March 01, 2012:

Thanks PDX. I'll have to drop by and read more of your poetry work. I think you summed it up well with your example of love. Perfect!

Thank you Audrey, you are exactly who this hub is written for, those who love and appreciate poetry!

Thanks Debby. Isn't it so powerful how very effective poems remain with us forever?

Lynn Jones from USA on March 01, 2012:

Awesome and so true, wow, I loved this piece of work, as you read it you feel the expression of what you are writing about.... love it, great work..lyns

Leni Sands from UK on February 29, 2012:

Not only did I enjoy reading this hub I also enjoyed reading all the comments and your more than eloquent responses. 'The raven' was an excellent choice to close this great hub, thanks for sharing!

Debby Bruck on February 29, 2012:

Very beautiful and my favorite poems ever. Blessings, Debby

Audrey Howitt from California on February 29, 2012:

Loved, loved, loved this hub! But then I am partial to poetry!

Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on February 29, 2012:

excelelnt work. I've written about this very subject many times and I think you complimented what I have to say on the subject. To me, poetry captures an image or moment in time and turns the abstract (let's say, Love) into something concrete (say, a mother holding a new born child.)

well done!

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on February 02, 2012:

kclaar, thanks for your sincere comment. I can feel it in your words! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. :)

kclaar from Tyrone, Pennsylvania on February 02, 2012:

What a wonderful article to come across. Thank you so much for sharing this. Loved this, "Without poetry, humanity has nowhere to hang its soul."

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on January 25, 2012:

Made, thank you! Poems can be inspired from so many different sources, can't they? I'm glad you enjoyed reading this hub and found it helpful.

Thanks Dim, I think the same is true. I like to think of a poet being a word artist. Words become so meaningful in a poetic setting. Thanks for reading and commenting. :))

Dim Flaxenwick from Great Britain on January 25, 2012:

This was an excellent hub. Your statements about poets and poetry were perfectly true.

An artist without paint is how I see a poet. An artist with words.

Thank you for this wonderful hub

Madeleine Salin from Finland on January 20, 2012:

This hub is great! It really explains what poetry is. I can really relate to you saying: "I have written poems in which readers assumed I was writing about a personal experience. This is certainly not always the case." I really enjoyed reding this hub.

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on November 30, 2011:

Vinaya, I've read your poems. Not only do you have a poet's soul, you have the heart, the language and the voice that makes a poet stand out from the rest. Keep composing your very fine poems.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on November 28, 2011:

"Most people can compose a poem, but the simple act of writing doesn't make a poet."

How true you are.

Though my most read hubs are poems, I do not consider myself poet.

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

Deborah Langford on November 04, 2011:

Wow, what can I say.. what a great piece on being a poet.. My experiences in life bad or good has brought so many words to me straight from my soul.. Whether good or bad the thoughts and expressions brings forth my feelings and helps me emotionally..I thank you for your writing and helping us all to express what we are thinking.. To be there in our minds and deep in our souls.. The words jump out onto the page to bring to life what we see. Thanks again. Deborah

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on October 31, 2011:

WannaB, I know what you mean. When it seems like nothing is begging to be written, that's when you can choose whatever you want, and go to your favorite place to write. If there still is nothing, look around, use all of your senses and see what happens. Taking a walk helps me. Thanks for reading and your comments!

@goego, so glad you found the hub helpful! It also includes some helpful, informative poetry links. Thanks!

goego from Loserland on October 31, 2011:

at a loss of glad to find a world school

Barbara Radisavljevic from Templeton, CA on October 30, 2011:

My favorite lines: "There are some poems waiting to be born, begging to be written. A poet will know when this happens. I used to have so many begging to be written, but I'm finding it harder to write poetry when I'm happy. I still see the world as poet sees it, but nothing jumps up in my soul and says, "Write me" anymore. Voted up and awesome.

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on October 25, 2011:

Thanks frogyfish. I plan to write more about the interaction between the poet and the reader as soon as I have a decent block of time to write. It's as much a part of the poem, as the poem itself. A poem is not complete without the reader.

I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!

@bravewarrior, I look forward to reading your submissions!

@kimberlyslyrics, Thanks for reading and I'm happy that you found it inspirational and understandable. I'm sure you will have some fantastic entries in the contest. You have a natural way with language and communicating with the reader! Enjoy the process. xo

kimberlyslyrics on October 24, 2011:

You know, this was most helpful and reads in a way that is not just inspirational but understandable (to me) Thank you Rebekah

In no way is this comment a reflection that you are a judge for the upcoming November contest ha XO

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 12, 2011:

As a matter of fact, I will be submitting in the upcoming contest. I'm looking forward to it and possibly getting some feedback from you, as well!

frogyfish from Central United States of America on October 11, 2011:

I like your definition of a poet! Also, the interaction between poet and reader...that is the reward to gain. I shall follow you to read more. Thank you very much for sharing your beautiful expressive words.

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on October 09, 2011:

Kenneth, Thanks for reading and taking time to leave such a nice comment! I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub. It's so nice to meet other hubbers by way of comments! Enjoy HP!

@prasetio, so very nice to see you! I'm sure with your writing talent that you could compose a fantastic poem. Your hubs are always well done! Cheers and thank you!

@bravewarrior, It's always nice to meet a kindred soul. I hope you plan to enter some poems in the up and coming HubPages Patron of the Arts writing contest. It will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase your work. Enjoy!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 09, 2011:

I, too am a poet and your words seep into my soul. It's the little things in life: a breeze, a sunset, a hummingbird seeking nectar from your garden, along with deep emotions and the results thereof; elation, dissapointment, hatred, negativity, hope, love of God. The poet is inspired by life. And even death. It's nice to have found a kindred soul!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on October 07, 2011:

I love poem and I love this hub. Very inspiring hub and I hope I can make a beautiful poem for us. Well done, my friend. Vote up!


Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on October 03, 2011:

Hi, rebekah, GREAT READ. Wonderfully-written. Thank you for sharing your grand talent with us. Love the lay-out too. Have a great life and keep up the great work.


Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, AL.

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on September 29, 2011:

saddlewriter, It's so nice to see you here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and such meaningful comments. I look forward to sharing the Poetry panel with you in the up and coming Patron of the Arts contest. I'm sure we're going to read some very fine poetry!

@Roberthewettsr, thanks so much for your comment! It means a lot to me. It's very nice to meet another poet! I like your name, Cottonwood Poet, very nice imagery.

@Leokadia Durmaj, Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave such a nice comment. How very nice to meet an Undercover Angel.

Leokadia Durmaj on September 29, 2011:

Hi Rebekah, you have captured the very essence of how a poet transforms his thoughts through his words into breathtaking pictures for the reader. Poet's have to feel with their heart and soul to create amazing images and deep emotions through words.

A most inspirational piece to read.

Leokadia (Lee) aka Undercover Angel

rOBERT hEWETT SR. from Louisville, Kentucky on September 28, 2011:

This is outstanding commentary, poetry and teaching.

Great imagery in poetry puts the poet right there with

the artist who paints a picture. The poet lets you see

the painting through choice of words, flow and continuity. Thanks for posting this gem. Robert aka

Cottonwood Poet

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on September 27, 2011:

livelonger, thank you so much! I'm not familiar with a lot of her work, but will read some of her poems. I love finding favorites of others. Poets have such a way of extending their voice beyond the borders. We can learn much from these great writers.

@sannel, I'm glad you found this hub also and enjoyed reading. Emily Dickensen has such an extensive work of poetry and it's pure pleasure for anyone who enjoys reading poetry. I agree!

saddlerider1 on September 27, 2011:

Firstly I agree with all the wonderful comments above mine here. A Poet draws from many resources around him/her. The world is our palette to paint the verses we do. I draw from personal experiences, the bad, good and the ugly. I mediate on my words and my Muse will eventually come out of the dark shadows to place quill in hand and have me sit and scribe.

Life and death is Poetry and we draw from a very deep well. This is a very interesting Hub you created here and I admire your talent as a creative writer as well as a brilliant Poet. Well done, Bravo...rated UP..

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on September 27, 2011:

Thanks GL, I think one of the keys in understanding poetry is realizing it's for the reader to interpret. Too often, readers try to interpret it from the poet's mindset, which sometimes is impossible. The book suggested above by Ed Hirsch is a great resource and can also be found at libraries also. He covers a lot of poets and poems and it's very helpful. Thanks for reading and commenting!

@always exploring, thank you! Always happy to meet another poetry lover.

@Pamela, Thanks for reading and taking time to comment. Poets take their work seriously and it's always nice to see when hard work and creativity are rewarded. Most poets are simply happy to have others read and enjoy their work.

SanneL from Sweden on September 26, 2011:

I'm so glad that I found this inspiring hub. I do believe that the simple act of writing doesn't make a poet, but a great mind with a big heart and soul does. Emily Dickinson is one of my favorites. She really had the greatest ability to draw the reader into her wonderful imagery world.

Thank you!


Jason Menayan from San Francisco on September 26, 2011:

What a beautiful and insightful Hub, RebekahELLE. I love good poetry, too, and I think you've conveyed what makes a truly great poet so powerful. I'm a big fan of Wislawa Szymborska, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 26, 2011:

I have great respect for poets. This was a wonderful, informative article. Thank you for the excellent information.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 25, 2011:

I love poetry. Your 'Heart of a poet' is interesting and well defined. Thank you......

Hillary from Atlanta, GA on September 25, 2011:

How lovely rE. I'm one of those people who needs educating when it comes to appreciating and really understanding poetry. I have no problem with Poe's poetry and The Raven is one of my favorites,so thanks for the video!

rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on September 25, 2011:

Thanks Winsome, I'm always delighted to see your visit. Poe was one of the first real poets that inspired me to read and write poetry. I was fascinated by his imagery and use of metaphors. I remember having to memorize Annabelle Lee in elementary school. I have always loved his poetry.

You certainly have the poetic muse working for you. Your poems are so beautiful. I always enjoy reading them. Thanks for sharing this poem in the comment section for others to enjoy! xo

Hi LA! Thanks for reading and sharing such a nice comment.

I'm happy you enjoyed reading and found it engaging! I appreciate your words and time. :]

LABrashear from My Perfect Place, USA on September 25, 2011:

Full of information and beautiful. I loved "Without poetry, humanity has nowhere to hang its soul." Well written and engaging.

Winsome from Southern California by way of Texas on September 25, 2011:

Hi Rebekah, I like the "where humanity hangs its soul." Poe seemed to get his inspiration from "many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore." Sometimes when I read what someone else experienced or hear a song, it sets me to writing too.

Where are you muse, that sits on my soul

Biding your time, hiding your smile

My soul is silent, show your face

And smile into me and I will paint the world with wonder