What is poetry? How do we read poetry? What distinguishes poetry from other forms of literature or art? Perhaps “more intense use of language– “higher voltage” per word (Perrine)?
Here are two glimpses of Mary Oliver’s view of what poetry is:
“The thoughtful machinery of the poem…” Mary Oliver’s introduction to Poetry, 1994
“If poetry lifts the latch, and gives a glimpse into a greater paradise…[then it awakens within the poet] a fever and desire beyond the margins of self.”–Mary Oliver’s A poetry handbook