We explain what a poem is and what its differences are from poetry. In addition, the parts that compose it and some examples.
What is a poem?
A poem is a literary composition of the lyrical genre, usually of short length, which consists of the subjective description of an emotional, existential state or some experience. For this, he uses metaphorical language, abundant in tropes and linguistic turns and imaginary licenses, more similar to lyrics and song than narration.
Although there may also be prose, the poems are composed chiefly in verse, without this meaning sticking to the structures of rhyme and classical meter, which imposed a specific number of syllables per line. Currently, this literary genre is highly accessible in terms of forms, so a poem can be divided into stanzas, songs, or flow as poetic prose or prose poetry.
Books of poems are called collections of poems and can consist of anthologies, collections by one author, or a single long poem. Poetry is conventionally classified into subgenres, whose four main ones are:
Hymns. Lyrical songs that express exalted emotions of celebration regarding a specific theme. For example, Hymns to the night of Novalis.
Odes. Similar to hymns, but dedicated to a specific subject, object or person whose virtues or beauty are proclaimed in the poem. For example: “Ode to a Grecian Urn” by John Keats.
Elegies. These are poems of lamentation, in which something lost is said goodbye or cried: illusion, love, life, etc. For example: “Elegy to the impossible memory” by Jorge Luis Borges.
Satires are burlesque compositions expressing anger or contempt towards certain subjects or people, sometimes for educational purposes. For example, Praise of the foolishness of Erasmus of Rotterdam.
poem and poetry
The terms poem and poetry are often interchangeably, although not. On the one hand, a poem is a text, a piece of writing, and, therefore, a finished work that we can read with an author and a moment of publication. Instead, poetry is a literary genre, one of the areas in which literature is subdivided and, therefore, an idea, a concept. Poetry has no author but is the conceptual category of all poems written and published in the literature.
That said, it should be clarified that it is possible to find the term “poetry” used to refer to a poem as synonyms when it is preceded by an indefinite article (one/some): “Julián wrote me a poem” is equivalent to “Julián wrote me a poem”.
parts of a poem
Poems can vary significantly in structure and composition, but they usually consist of a textual body of lines. A verse is equivalent to a line of text, arbitrarily interrupted to emphasize a certain musicality or rhythm in the reading, unlike prose, which is continuous.
Verses make up stanzas: sets of lines separated by blank spaces, equivalent to paragraphs in prose. And finally, the total of the stanzas make up a song, which would become the “acts” or “chapters” of the poem.
Finally, if any, the songs integrate the poem in its entirety.
Some famous love poems are:
“Eternal Love” by Gustavo Adolfo Becquer
The sun may be clouded forever;
The sea can dry up in an instant;
The axis of the earth may break
Like a weak crystal.
Everything will happen! may death
Cover me with its funereal crêpe;
But it can never go out in me
The flame of your love.
“Kisses” (fragment) by Gabriela Mistral
Some kisses pronounce by themselves
the damning sentence of love,
some kisses are given with the look
Some kisses are shared with memory.
There are silent kisses, noble kisses
there are enigmatic, sincere kisses
Some kisses are offered only by souls
There are kisses for forbidden, actual.
“Ode to love” (fragment) by Pablo Neruda
Love, let’s do accounts.
At my age
it’s not possible
deceive or deceive us.
I was a highway robber
I do not regret it.
a deep minute,
a broken magnolia
for my teeth
and the moonlight
Some anonymous friendship poems are:
And that in the sweetness of friendship
there is room for laughter, and,
for shared pleasures.
Because in the dew of little things,
the heart finds its morning,
and takes its freshness.
“Some friendships are eternal.”
Sometimes you encounter in life
A special friendship:
that someone who, when entering your life
he changes her completely.
That someone who makes you laugh nonstop;
that someone who makes you believe that in the world
there are perfect things.
That someone who convinces you
that there is a door ready
for you to open it.
That is an eternal friendship.
Your friend is the answer to your needs.
It is your field, which you sow with love
and harvest with gratitude.
And it’s your table
and the fire of your home.
Some of the most famous exponents of the poetic genre were: Homer, a Greek poet of the 8th century BC, author of well-known epic poems of great literary value such as the Iliad and the Odyssey; Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (16th century Spanish), also a prose writer; Mario Benedetti, the most current poet (20th century), creator of an extensive collection of poems and also of prose; and the English William Shakespeare and William Wordsworth, among others.