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What is poetry?

There is no one answer, and many, many people have their own ideas.
Here are some definitions we like:

‘Literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm’ – OED

‘Poetry is a heightened imagistic use of language that does things to the heart and head’ – Grace Nichols

‘A made thing, a verbal construct, an event in language’ – Edward Hirsch

‘Poetry is memorable speech’ – W H Auden

‘Poetry does not explain life. It gives life to feeling and seeing’ – Sarah Stetie

‘Why, Sir, it is much easier to say what it is not’ – Samuel Johnson