Poetry: Words flow, emotions they know

Feelings and emotions play a vital role in the well-being of our minds and thought processes, which influences our relationships on a personal and societal level. How successfully we express ourselves determines the response to our actions.

Poetry is a tapestry of words woven skillfully to give a bold or tender message. It is a significant and beautiful medium of expression. Just as the swaying movements of a dance define its rhythm, the essence of words, their depth and meaning create an impact with perfect vocabulary, rhyme sequence, and meter of a verse.

Poetry is a creative literary art expressing emotions in three lines and seventeen syllables, as in a Haiku. This beautiful poesy form can capture natural scenery or scenes from daily life and even tell a story. It emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression. An Epic is a long poem that narrates the story of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture.

The most significant aspect of poetry is that the poet’s recitation, in the required tone and style, can evoke feelings of sympathy, compassion, and empathy in the audience. So expressive is this medium that it creates an immediate bond with the audience effectively. The result is the resounding applause and chants of an encore. 

Poetry is not always about deep and reflective messages. There is a lighter side to it also. A Limerick can have you in splits. It is a poem with a light and humorous subject matter. Just in five lines, the joke and the punch line are delivered. Another excellent way for poets to respond to social trends and current events is through Satire. The humor in these poems relies on ridicule and exaggeration to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices. Satirical poems play a crucial role in challenging political and cultural oppression.

A  deep emotion that poetry unravels is love in all its forms. When we talk of love expressed in poetic form, we think of a Sonnet. Many sonnets are written on love, probably because the meter resembles human speech. The short format allows for an intense focus and expression of emotion. 

Ghazal is an ancient form of poetry, usually written in Urdu in the love genre, expressing feelings and emotions. It expresses sentiments of love, longing, sorrow, and despair. The ghazal is a powerful and evocative art form, sometimes used to express political views and as a medium for social change.

Though poets use many different strategies to create mood in poetry, the three main tools used are sound, imagery, and diction. A poem set to music becomes a song. A Ballad is a narrative poem that tells a story through song. It often involves themes of love, loss, and tragedy. 

We all like to hum a tune, following the beats of music in our minds. So, a question comes to mind. Do songs and poetry have a connection? Like poetry, songs, and lyrics utilize many different literary elements to convey a story. Poetry with music is called song lyrics, meant to be sung or spoken to a musical accompaniment. Soulful poetry or songs with meaningful words and rhyme stay in people’s minds and can be a significant medium to express emotions.

Rhythm and rhyme together make a wonderful melody. This combination is an integral part of all cultures. From childhood, we hear lyrical poetry. Be it the soothing lullabies sung to make a child sleep, hymns and chants at prayer times, or the Nursery Rhymes at the preschool level. Children’s poetry is one of the oldest art forms rooted in early oral tradition.

Nursery rhymes need to be said aloud. They are significant as a literary tool for young children as they learn about speech patterns. In nursery rhymes, repetition makes the song memorable and easy to recount. Our brain likes patterns, so songs with repetition have a good uptake in our memory. Many famous rhymes have morals in the story, taught to children in a light-hearted way.            

In conclusion, poetry is a creative art that exists in cultures globally. It allows people to express concepts in unique and resonant ways that sometimes survive and continue inspiring readers for centuries. Its importance is multilayered, ranging from emotional power and intellectual development and expression to culture and heritage preservation.  

It compels us to pause, reflect, and appreciate the intricacies of language and emotion. Poetry’s ability to condense the essence of human experience into a few stanzas that reflect our lives provokes thought and inspires introspection. 

Author: Munira Dalal

Editor’s Note: This article was selected to be published from 46 submissions received for the Unboxed Expressions initiative at Beyond the Box 

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