What Is Poetry?

Poetry really has no set definition. Trying to define poetry can be very difficult as poetry doesn’t have a clear definition. It can be defined as the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. But to me Poetry is just simply writing about something that you’re are passionate about or something that you are interested about, or a subject that deeply inspires your feelings about a subject.

I think a could example of poetry being writing about something your are passionate about and about a subject that deeply inspires feelings about the subject is a poem called the “Root Cellar” by Theodore Roethke. Theodore Roethke had a personal relationship with the subject of this poem, this is the reason for the deep and vivid details of this poem. I like this poem because the subject of a cellar of roots for a greenhouse has personal ties to the author’s child hood as his father and uncle were owners’ of a local greenhouse.

Theodore was constantly around the family greenhouse that is why this poem has so much meaning and he uses vivid details to create the imagery of the root cellar that once apart of his life. Roethke uses great details to describe the details of the root cellar. He says, “Nothing would sleep in that cellar, dank as ditch” this line he uses to describe the overall feeling of the cellar that it was cold, dark and wet. This is how it felt when Theodore walked in the cellar. Another great line that describes the imagery in this poem is the line, “Hung down long yellow evil necks, like tropical snakes.

I particularly like this line because it gives you a good visual of what it looks like in one of these root cellars with the stringy yellowish roots hanging down. I think some reason for Roethke’s strong imagery is that the root cellar was a big part of his childhood. The subject of the root cellar was a subject that inspired some deep feelings from Theodore Roethke, probably about his father who past away from cancer when Theodore was just fifteen, or his uncle who committed suicide around the same time his father died, both who owned the greenhouse.

My definition of a poem is writing about something you feel strong, passionate, and a subject you have great feeling towards. I feel the poem “The Cellar” by Theodore Roethke strongly represents this definition because the cellar that Roethke writes about represents the cellar to his family’s greenhouse that his father and uncle owned who both past away when Roethke was young. I thin this event contributes to the strong imagery in this poem.

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