“The Great Preface’ brings out a very intriguing idea of the nature of poetry. It is stated that a poem ‘is that to which what is intently on the mind goes. In the mind it is ‘being intent’; coming out in language, is it a poem’ (p.40). This idea is reflected throughout the varying poems that have been studied in class so far, from the Ramayana to the Odyssey and now the Book of Songs. Poems have the ability to move the readers and this is perhaps evidence that each poem contains its own set of emotions that have been packed into it.
We saw in the Ramayana, that it was anger that gave rise to the poem and the new metrical form. In the Odyssey, it was also the emotions and the ability of the poem to bring back memories that made the audience of the poem break down. In the Book of Songs, we can see that there are emotions of common men and royalty laden within each poem. What makes a poem so effective is the ability of each reader to understand and sympathise with the emotions. Reponses to poems are individualistic, however all humans have the innate tendency to feel. Thus through deep analysis of a poem we can dwell into the ‘inner conditions of mind’ of the poet.
Poetry could be defined as a method of providing a pattern to emotions which otherwise could not be expressed because they are fully internal. It is a form of expression that arises from emotions, is filled with emotions, and gives rise to emotions.