One false view of poets is that it's their mission to give us
"beauty" by seeing only the good,
the noble, the inspiring in reality. What we get is a more meaningful
world, not a nicer one,
not a distortion of reality. Poets try to avoid the conventionally
pretty, what might be
overused in the middling poems of the past, Hallmark Cards, etc.
Often their best work
comes from what has been previously overlooked and therefore fresh.
consciously "poetic" (in the conventional sense) the materials
out of which a poem is made,
the poorer the poem is likely to be.
Emerson in "The American Scholar" pointed out that with the rise of democracy
a change in literature: Instead of the sublime and beautiful,
"the near, the low, the common,
was explored and poeticized."
Carl Jung--The sad truth is that man's real life consists of a complex
Paradox-- A statement that seems to imply a contradiction. In its Greek
form, the word meant
contrary to expectation.
Oxymoron--Might be translated from the Greek as cleverly stupid. Or absurd
Irony-- Directs our attention in any of several ways to a relation of
Understatement, The Withheld Image
Voltaire--The way to bore people is to tell them everything.
Dizzy Gillespie--It took me all my life to learn the biggest music lesson of
not to play.
Robert Frost--The unsaid part is the best part.
Never tell a reader what will leap into his mind without your
telling. So the meaning can
explode within the reader, not just within the words on the page.
Litotes--A form of understatement, asserts the truth by denying its opposite.
Not bad for a
good cup of coffee.
Hyperbole--Overstatement, Greek--throwing beyond the mark. Not lies. Only
the very naive
would take them seriously.