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Welcome to the World of Poetry


Percy Shelly is to poetry what Robert Schumann is to music.
—ETAF Staff

The World Of Poetry is dedicated to poetry and poems—it is for and about all aspects of poetry. The Muse Of Literature feels delight in the poetic conceit and wants to share that delight with you here. In all that happens in these pages, Erato makes her presence felt; The Muse stands on her shoulders and steadfastly carries forward her tradition.

about this Feature

The Muse of Literature is honored to be able to offer visitors a variety of poetry, from sacred to profane, serious to comic, literary to doggerel. In these pages you will find poems written by masters, connoisseurs, professionals, amateurs, aspiring artists, and complete unknowns. The famous poet Anonymous is well represented, as well. Some of the poems found in these pages have been written by visitors to Electricka's web site.

All poems presented here have been selected by The Muse Of Literature and approved for publication by Electricka.

Here, The Muse Of Literature also analyzes and explains many literary, technical, emotive, and psychological aspects of this rich, complex, and immensely varied field of expression.

a few Fundamental questions & answers—understanding poetry

The dictionary defines poetry as the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts. It defines a poem as a literary work in rhythmic or metrical form; verse.

These definitions seem simple enough to understand, and for centuries people thought they understood what poetry is all about; there was nothing new to ask; the book was closed except for the details. But in the first decade of the 20th century, after the upheavals caused by WWI, innovative poets wrote radically new and different kinds of poems that introduced never-before-seen poetical ideas and techniques; the world of poetry was suddenly and forever turned topsy-turvy.

The questions they raised about the fundamental nature of poems and poetry upset time-honored presumptions; people started questioning what poetry is and what good poems should be. Let's ask some of these same questions here. The poem you are looking at is a good place to begin. Is Spiral Poem a poem?


Spiral Poem
Graphic by Forrest Cahoon, text by Susu Jeffrey
© 1999


More About the nature of poetry & poems

Visit these Muse Of Literature pages for more about the elements of poetry:

  • Visit the page called The Sounds Of Poetry—About Rhyme: click here.

  • Explore a variety of literary and poetic devices and other literary terms. Visit the page called the Glossary Of Literary Terms: click here.

  • For information about the Glossary Of Literary Terms, visit the page called Literary Terminology - Glossary Of Literary Terms: click here.

How to approach a poem

At the feature called How To Approach A Poem, The Muse Of Literature offers you a few things to think that can help you get the most from reading or hearing it. The Muse gives you a method and procedure for getting started reading and understanding poetry.

  • Explore The Muse's way of approaching a poem: click here.

Read poetry at the poetry corner

How can you enjoy poetry more than by reading it?

At the feature called The Poetry Corner, The Muse offers all kinds of poems, from sacred to profane, serious to comic, literary to doggerel. These poems are culled from the works of masters, connoisseurs, professionals, amateurs, aspiring artists, and complete unknowns. Some are quirky, some profound. Some are original poems created by visitors to Electricka's web site.

  • Read poetry selections now. Visit The Muse Of Literature's page called Welcome To The Poetry Corner: click here.

Publish your original poem at the poetry corner

Have you written an original poem that could be published at this web site? Want to write a new poem especially for publication here? The Muse Of Literature invites you to submit your original poem for publication at the feature called The Poetry Corner.

Everyone is invited to publish their poetic creation. Find out how at The Poetry Corner: click here.

poetic forms

Here The Muse Of Literature explores the world of poetic forms and structures.

Poetry is one of the most sophisticated and expressive forms of literature there is, with numerous structures, genres, and types . Here, The Muse Of Literature explores poems and poetry from a structural point of view.

about writing

If you are interesting in writing as distinguished from readingif you want to explore what it's like to cross over the fence, put on your creative artist's hat or expository writer's hat and produce written materials yourself—see what The Muse Of Language Arts has to say at the World of Writing page.

  • Explore the act and process of writing. Visit The Muse Of Language Arts page called the World of Writing: click here.

ETAF Recommends


Below are a few collections of poems in the English language that cover a broad spectrum of reading.


Understanding Poetry

By one measure, there's a lot to know about poetry. By another measure, all you really need to know is how you feel when you experience a poem. A third measure falls somewhere between these two extremes. It takes the position that the more you understand about poetry, the more you will understand a poem's meaning and feeling when you read or hear it; the more you will experience.

Below are a few introductory level books about the nature of poetry aimed at helping you understand and analyze the poems you read. These books will help you know more so you can feel and be more.

Perrine's Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry
Laurence Perrine, Thomas R. Arp, and Greg Johnson.

Possibly the best available guide on how to understand poetry. This book is an excellent and easy way to learn how to read and understand poetry. Proceed along a structured path by reading examples and following up with exercises at each stage. Not only shows you what to look for, it helps you develop your poetic judgment, aesthetic sensibilities, and good taste.

...More coming.



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