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poetry

[poh-i-tree] /ˈpoʊ ɪ tri/
noun
1.
the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.
2.
literary work in metrical form; verse.
3.
prose with poetic qualities.
4.
poetic qualities however manifested:
the poetry of simple acts and things.
5.
poetic spirit or feeling:
The pianist played the prelude with poetry.
6.
something suggestive of or likened to poetry:
the pure poetry of a beautiful view on a clear day.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English poetrie < Medieval Latin poētria poetic art, derivative of poēta poet, but formation is unclear; probably not < Greek poiḗtria poetess
Related forms
poetryless, adjective
Synonyms
2. Poetry, verse agree in referring to the work of a poet. The difference between poetry and verse is usually the difference between substance and form. Poetry is lofty thought or impassioned feeling expressed in imaginative words: Elizabethan poetry. Verse is any expression in words which simply conforms to accepted metrical rules and structure: the differences between prose and verse.
Antonyms
2. prose.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for poetry
  • The bard needed to remember hours and hours of poetry, and the combination of meter, rhyme and song enabled him to do so.
  • No one at all reads literary scholarship, and there is far too much poetry for any human being to read.
  • Lyrics are filled with symbolism, and singers sometimes use made-up sounds to help create the stories and rhythmic poetry.
  • Such a language is the very language of poetry.
  • For like poetry they come upon truth by laying the feelings bare.
  • Ours is an age without poetry, and this is not news.
  • The charms of poetry have long been lost on me.
  • This collection should attract readers of his fiction and fans of his poetry alike.
  • Part physics, part poetry--the fledgling un-discipline finds commercial opportunity.
  • Second, his poetry is relatively difficult to find.
British Dictionary definitions for poetry

poetry

/ˈpəʊɪtrɪ/
noun
1.
literature in metrical form; verse
2.
the art or craft of writing verse
3.
poetic qualities, spirit, or feeling in anything
4.
anything resembling poetry in rhythm, beauty, etc
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin poētria, from Latin poētapoet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for poetry
n.

late 14c., "poetry; a poem; ancient literature; poetical works, fables, or tales," from Old French poetrie (13c.), and perhaps directly from Medieval Latin poetria (c.650), from Latin poeta (see poet). In classical Latin, poetria meant "poetess."

... I decided not to tell lies in verse. Not to feign any emotion that I did not feel; not to pretend to believe in optimism or pessimism, or unreversible progress; not to say anything because it was popular, or generally accepted, or fashionable in intellectual circles, unless I myself believed it; and not to believe easily. [Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), forward to "Selected Poems"]
Figurative use from 1660s. Old English had metergeweorc "verse," metercræft "art of versification." Modern English lacks a true verb form in this group of words, though poeticize (1804), poetize (1580s, from French poétiser), and poetrize (c.1600) have been tried. Poetry in motion (1826) perhaps is from poetry of motion (1813) "dance" (also poetry of the foot, 1660s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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poetry in the Bible

has been well defined as "the measured language of emotion." Hebrew poetry deals almost exclusively with the great question of man's relation to God. "Guilt, condemnation, punishment, pardon, redemption, repentance are the awful themes of this heaven-born poetry." In the Hebrew scriptures there are found three distinct kinds of poetry, (1) that of the Book of Job and the Song of Solomon, which is dramatic; (2) that of the Book of Psalms, which is lyrical; and (3) that of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which is didactic and sententious. Hebrew poetry has nothing akin to that of Western nations. It has neither metre nor rhyme. Its great peculiarity consists in the mutual correspondence of sentences or clauses, called parallelism, or "thought-rhyme." Various kinds of this parallelism have been pointed out: (1.) Synonymous or cognate parallelism, where the same idea is repeated in the same words (Ps. 93:3; 94:1; Prov. 6:2), or in different words (Ps. 22, 23, 28, 114, etc.); or where it is expressed in a positive form in the one clause and in a negative in the other (Ps. 40:12; Prov. 6:26); or where the same idea is expressed in three successive clauses (Ps. 40:15, 16); or in a double parallelism, the first and second clauses corresponding to the third and fourth (Isa. 9:1; 61:10, 11). (2.) Antithetic parallelism, where the idea of the second clause is the converse of that of the first (Ps. 20:8; 27:6, 7; 34:11; 37:9, 17, 21, 22). This is the common form of gnomic or proverbial poetry. (See Prov. 10-15.) (3.) Synthetic or constructive or compound parallelism, where each clause or sentence contains some accessory idea enforcing the main idea (Ps. 19:7-10; 85:12; Job 3:3-9; Isa. 1:5-9). (4.) Introverted parallelism, in which of four clauses the first answers to the fourth and the second to the third (Ps. 135:15-18; Prov. 23:15, 16), or where the second line reverses the order of words in the first (Ps. 86:2). Hebrew poetry sometimes assumes other forms than these. (1.) An alphabetical arrangement is sometimes adopted for the purpose of connecting clauses or sentences. Thus in the following the initial words of the respective verses begin with the letters of the alphabet in regular succession: Prov. 31:10-31; Lam. 1, 2, 3, 4; Ps. 25, 34, 37, 145. Ps. 119 has a letter of the alphabet in regular order beginning every eighth verse. (2.) The repetition of the same verse or of some emphatic expression at intervals (Ps. 42, 107, where the refrain is in verses, 8, 15, 21, 31). (Comp. also Isa. 9:8-10:4; Amos 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6.) (3.) Gradation, in which the thought of one verse is resumed in another (Ps. 121). Several odes of great poetical beauty are found in the historical books of the Old Testament, such as the song of Moses (Ex. 15), the song of Deborah (Judg. 5), of Hannah (1 Sam. 2), of Hezekiah (Isa. 38:9-20), of Habakkuk (Hab. 3), and David's "song of the bow" (2 Sam. 1:19-27).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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