• Noun: literature in metrical form
• Noun: any communication resembling poetry in beauty or the evocation of feeling
A definition of poetry can only determine what poetry should be and not what poetry actually was and is; otherwise the most concise formula would be: Poetry is that which at some time and some place was thus named.
The subject of Finnish poetry ought to have a special interest for the Japanese student, if only for the reason that Finnish poetry comes more closely in many respects to Japanese poetry than any other form of Western poetry.
While also, importantly, not wanting to dumb it down or pretend the days of 'difficult' poetry are over, because we live in a pluralist culture and there's room for 'difficult' poetry alongside rap and everything else. And poetry won't be for everyone, but everyone should have the choice.
If you go into a bar in most places in America and even say the word poetry, you'll probably get beaten up. But poetry is a really strong, beautiful form to me, and a lot of innovation in language comes from poetry.
When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.
I think we fool ourselves and really negate a great deal of history if we think that the oral history of poetry is shorter than the written history of poetry. It's not true. Poetry has a longer oral tradition than it does written.
I don't like political poetry, and I don't write it. If this question was pointing towards that, I think it is missing the point of the American tradition, which is always apolitical, even when the poetry comes out of politically active writers.