Ken Craft, with help from Archibald MacLeish, discusses what poetry should be (or not).
Ars Poetica. According to both Merriam and Webster, it means “a treatise on the art of literary and especially poetic composition.” And strictly speaking, in the Dead Language (that’s Latin to you), it means “the art of poetry.”
Many poems carry this title, and it is considered a rite of passage to write your own Ars Poetica. Thus, if you count yourself a poet and haven’t written one, you should. I know, I know. What a pain in the ars.
So to start, think of this: What should a poem be?
Done? OK. Then here’s better advice: Think of what a poem should not be. Chances are, brainstorming this way will lead you to thoughts most no one else has had while parsing and arsing this fabled beast called poetry.
Don’t believe me? Check out Archibald MacLeish’s go at it:
Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish
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