A Poem Should Be…

Ken Craft, with help from Archibald MacLeish, discusses what poetry should be (or not).


macleishArs 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

A poem…

View original post 209 more words

18 thoughts on “A Poem Should Be…

  1. Pingback: My Own Ars Poetica – noblethemes

  2. Fun read. Re poetry being “for left minds” … well, it certainly would behoove the left-minded to indulge in a bit of poetry; but I consider poetry very creative and thus springing from the right-minded. Or perhaps I am so unbalanced toward the right that I’m simply missing the leftedness? Have never written a poem about poetry, but I do have one about fonts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve constructed three drafts of an Ars Poetica for my poetry workshops: it only got more difficult each time. It never gets easier each time. I definitely appreciate those well-crafted works that can discuss the nature of writing while straying from cliche!

    Liked by 1 person

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