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Poetry Essay | Critical Essay #1

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Poetry.
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Critical Essay #1

Semansky is an instructor of literature and composition. In this essay, Semansky considers the question of definition in Moore's poem. Coming up with an adequate definition of the term "poetry" has obsessed critics, poets, and philosophers since Plato, who wanted to banish them for misrepresenting the truth. Some link the term to formal features of writing, while others focus on the composing process or the attitude or qualities of the writer. Some believe that poetry does not necessarily even have to use words, but rather is a matter of perception. Moore's poem tackles the "problem" of defining poetry by creating a hierarchy of degree separating "genuine" poetry from bad poetry, and by linking "genuine" poetry to a specific purpose.

By titling her poem "Poetry," Moore creates expectations that the ensuing lines will describe or explain the phenomenon. However, her first line disarms readers when she claims, "I, too...

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This section contains 1,507 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Poetry Study Guide
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Poetry from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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