Afterward: While driving my car and considering the fiery comment thread at my “Defining Poetry” post, the above epigram popped into my mind. But after my Muses graced me with the phrase, I thought: “How ironic. Is this a poem?” As my diagram to the right shows, there are huge variety of writing styles that have been labelled “poetry” over the millenium. Heck, maybe you don’t consider epigrams to be poetry, or maybe this is an aphorism. You decide — but as for me, it is all good and I just wanted to share.
For theorizers about poetry, the epigram can be a useful definition touchstone; For if you have a favorite definition for what you feel uniquely defines “poetry”, then hold up an epigram to that definition and see if it still works. If it does, hold up a limerick or a Shakespeare sonnet. Hold up everything I have included in my diagram to the right and I wager most definitions will eventually fail. Why? Well, re-read my epigram above but if that doesn’t suffice then you might have to click here and read my post on the subject of defining Poetry.
Reader Challenge: Epigrams are a quick way to taste a writer’s mind. Have you ever written an epigram? If so, give us a link in the comments, if not, how about giving it a try right now! For inspiration, here are some Famous Epigrams in Literature and Poetry.
Prompted by: Open Night Link at d’Verse Poet Pub