A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary greatly in different cultures and time periods. Throughout each civilization and language, poets have used various styles that have changed through the course of literary history, resulting in a history of poets as diverse as the literature they have produced.
The English word "poet" is derived from the French poète, itself descended from the Latin first-declension masculine noun poeta, meaning "poet". The word "poetry" derives from the Latin feminine noun poetria, meaning not "poetry" but "poetess".
French poet Arthur Rimbaud summarized the "poet" by writing,
A poet makes himself a visionary through a long, boundless, and systematized disorganization of all the senses. All forms of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he exhausts within himself all poisons, and preserves their quintessences. Unspeakable torment, where he will need the greatest faith, a superhuman strength, where he becomes all men: the great invalid, the great criminal, the great accursed—and the Supreme Scientist! For he attains the unknown! Because he has cultivated his soul, already rich, more than anyone! He attains the unknown, and, if demented, he finally loses the understanding of his visions, he will at least have seen them! So what if he is destroyed in his ecstatic flight through things unheard of, unnameable: other horrible workers will come; they will begin at the horizons where the first one has fallen!
Although that is only one opinion of many on a poet's definition.
William Wordsworth once described the poet's task as to
make A present joy the matter of a song, Pour forth that day my soul in measured strains That would not be forgotten and are here Recorded
(The Prelude Book 1)
Marianne Moore famously described the poet's job as creating "imaginary gardens with real toads in them".(Poetry)
Many poets such as Virgil in the Aeneid and John Milton in Paradise Lost invoke the aid of a Muse to help them in their tasks.
Other articles related to "poet":
... In the time of the Greek oral poet Hesiod, Elysium would also be known as the Fortunate Isles or the Isles (or Islands) of the Blessed, located in the western ocean at the end of the ... The Isles of the Blessed would be reduced to a single island by the Thebean poet Pindar, describing it as having shady parks, with residents indulging their athletic and musical pastimes ... varies from author to author Pindar and Hesiod name Cronus as the ruler, while the poet Homer in the Odyssey describes fair-haired Rhadamanthus dwelling there ...
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Famous quotes containing the word poet:
“The poet is like the prince of the clouds
Who haunts the tempest and laughs at the archer;
Exiled on the ground in the midst of jeers,
His giants wings prevent him from walking.”
—Charles Baudelaire (18211867)
“Lift not thy spear against the Muses bower:
The great Emathian conqueror bid spare
The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower
Went to the ground; and the repeated air
Of sad Electras poet had the power
To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.”
—John Milton (16081674)
“Look at this poet William Carlos Williams: he is primitive and native, and his roots are in raw forest and violent places; he is word-sick and place-crazy. He admires strength, but for what? Violence! This is the cult of the frontier mind.”
—Edward Dahlberg (19001977)