The poetry (the old C-W communication was poesy ) is a very old literary kind with the varied forms which is constituted as well in worms as in prose and in which the dominant importance is granted to the " forme" , i.e. with the Meaning. Poetry is an art of the language which makes a maximum use of the resources of the language: work on the form gears down the power of the significance.
The word poetry comes from the Greek ποιεῖν ( poiein ) who means “to make, to create”; the poet is thus a creator, an inventor of expressive forms, which reveals also the terms of the Middle Ages Trouvère and Troubadour.
In the Greek Antiquité any literary expression is described as poetic, whether it is of the art of public speaking, the song or the theater: all “manufacturer of text” is a poet as the etymology expresses it. The Greek philosophers seek to refine the definition of poetry and Aristote in its Poétique identifies three poetic kinds: epic poetry, comic poetry and dramatic poetry. Later the theorists of esthetics will retain three kinds: the epopee, the lyric Poetry and the dramatic Poetry (including the tragedy like the comedy), and the use of the Towards will be essential like the first characteristic of poetry, thus differentiating it from the Prose, in charge of the common expression which one will describe as prosaic .
The word poetry will still evolve to a more restrictive direction while applying to the texts in worms which make a privileged use of the resources rhetorics, without prejudging contents: poetry will be descriptive, narrative and philosophical before making a place growing with the expression of the feelings.
Indeed, first literary expression of humanity, using the Rythme like helps with memorizing and with the oral transmission, poetry appears initially within a religious and social framework by instituting the Mythes founders in all the cultures that it is with the epopee of Gilgamesh, (3rd millenium before JC) in Mésopotamie, the Vedas, the Ramayana or the Indian Mahabharata , the Bible of the Hebrew or Iliade and the Odyssey of the Greeks.
Parallel to this epic poetry of the long and narrative origins made up of text, exists a poetry Liturgique which returns to the divine celebration by the poet inspired whose companies will ritualiseront the texts in the form of Psaumes, of Hymne S, of Sourates…. In a space more secularized will also develop, by taking support on the song, the reduced and the Tragédie which express the heart and the destiny of the men. At the same time the play will undoubtedly be added on the words with the ludic Comptine S, lullabies and other creations which will give for example the Anglo-Saxon nonsense .
Between Apollo and Dionysos
Poetry is marked by the Oralité and the Musique of its origins since the search for particular rates/rhythms, like the use of the Towards, and of sound effects, like the Rimes, had a mnemotechnical function for the primitive oral transmission. This invoice specific to the poetic text makes that this one is initially intended to be heard rather than approached by the quiet reading.
Placed under the aegis of Orphée and Apollo musagète, god of the beauty and arts, and associated with the MUSE Erato, music and poetry are also closely bound by the research of the Harmonie and the beauty, by the Charm, with the strong direction of magic song. Poetic creation will hesitate however constantly between the Apollinian order and the appeasing which Euripide in Alceste clarifies: " What is wild, full with disorder and quarrel, the quadrant of Apollo softens it and " alleviates it; and the " dionysiaque fury " who returns to the god of the extases, the mysteries, the disordered states and the rates/rhythms of the natural forces which one discovers for example in the Panegyric of Greek Antiquity.
In linguistics, poetry is described as a statement centered on the form of the message thus where the poetic function is prevalent. In the Prose the important thing is the " signifié" , it has a goal " outside " (transmission of information) and is defined as a walk ahead which an arrow can symbolize and which the Latin root of the word reveals which means " to advance ". On the other hand, for poetry, the importance is directed towards the " form " , towards meaning, in step " reflexive " , symbolized by the " towards " who shows a progression in the recovery with the principle of the flashback (the worms " reverse ") that one can represent by a spiral.
Poetry is thus not defined by particular topics but by the major care taken to meaning so that it gears down meant: the enrichment of linguistic material indeed takes into account as much work on the formal aspects that the weight of the words, going well beyond the current direction of the " term; poetry " who returns simply to the harmonious beauty associated with a certain sentimentality. The poetic expression offers however during the History of the orientations varied according to the dominant one retained by the poet.
WormsThe page layout of the poetic text is traditionally founded on the principle of the return and the progression in the recovery which figure the use of the worms (regular or not), even if there exist forms métissées like the Prose poem or the poetic Prose which take again the characteristics of the poetic text (from where their denominations) like the use of the images and the search of sonorities or particular rates/rhythms. These worms are often gathered in Strophe S and sometimes organized in Fixed-form poems like the Sonnet or the Ballade.
Measured poetry uses worms defined by the number of their syllables like the Alexandrin French, whereas poetry Scandée exploits over the length of the feet (and their number) as in the dactylic Hexamètre Greek and Latin, or on the place of the accents as in the iambic Pentamètre English. The modern poets release themselves little by little from these rules: for example the French poets introduce into second half of the XIXe century the free Verse then the Verset, and while also calling into question traditional conventions of the Rime which disappears largely at the XXe century. More marginal graphic tests were tried for example by Mallarmé (" A toss of the dice… "), Apollinaire ( Calligrammes ) or Pierre Reverdy, while seeking to speak with the eye and more only with the ear, thus drawing the poem on the side of the table.
Musical qualityThe oral and sung origin poetry which the quadrant of Apollo or the flute of Orphée evokes marks the poetic expression which is concerned with rates/rhythms with the account of the syllables (towards pars towards odd - " E dumb " …) and play of the accents and the pauses (Caesura - Crossing-over…). Poetry particularly exploits also sonorities with the Rime (return of the same sounds at the end of with less the two worms with for base the last tonic vowel) and its combinations of kind (masculine rhymes or female), of provision (followed rhymes, crossed…) and of richness. It uses also the resumptions of sounds in one or more worms (Allitérations and Assonance S), the play of the Refrain (as in the ballade or the Bridge Mirabeau of Apollinaire) or the correspondence between the sound and the direction with the Onomatopoeias (example famous: " For which is these snakes… " - Root) or semantic rhymes (monotonous autumn/).
The weight of the words
The poet exploits all the resources of the language by also developing the words by their scarcity and their limited number: one speaks sometimes about " poetry-telegram " where each word " cost " as in the Sonnet and its 14 worms or in the extreme brevity of the Haïku Japanese of three worms. Enrichment also passes by the search of rare directions and neologisms (for example " incanter " in the fir trees of Apollinaire, which, " serious //Incantent magicians sky when it thunders " , or " paddle " associated with the setting Suns by Verlaine), the connotations like the Inspiration behind the female figure in the Steps of Paul Valéry (" Nobody pure, divine shade,/That they are soft, your steps selected! ") or by lexical networks woven in the poem like the religiosity in Harmony of the evening of Baudelaire. The poet still has other resources as the place in the worms or the poem (" hole of greenery " in the first towards Dormeur of the valley of Rimbaud which the " answer; two red holes at the right-sided " the last ones towards) or correspondences with the rate/rhythm and sonorities (" The attachment sweated, blew, was returned. … " - the Fountain, the Stage coach and the fly )…
The poet also plays of the development of the words by the Stylistic devices like the figures of insistence like accumulation, parallelism or the Anaphore (example: " Since the Juste is in the abyss, /Puisqu ' one gives the sceptre to the crime,/Since all the rights are betrayed,/Since proudest remain dull, /Puisqu ' one posts with the corner of the terminals/the dishonor of my country… " , Hugo - the Punishments , II, 5), figures of opposition like the chiasme or the Oxymore (" black sun of the Melancholy " - Nerval), ruptures of construction like the ellipse or the Anacoluthon (" Exiled on the ground in the middle of the hootings, /Ses wings of giant prevent it from going " , Baudelaire - the albatross ) and of course figures of substitution like the Comparison and the Metaphor, (of Ronsard and Of Bellay to Jacques Prévert or Eugene Guillevic while passing by Surrealist Hugo, Apollinaire, and well of others). The use of the image is located besides like one of the marks of the poetic expression; only one example emblematic of spun Métaphore will give an account of it: " (Ruth wondered…) Which God, which harvester of the eternal be/Had, while from going away, négligemment thrown/This gold sickle in the field of the étoiles" , (Victor Hugo - Booz deadened ).
Main trends of poetry
The definition of poetic Genres was always discussed by discussing formal criteria and/or criteria of contents (of object) and, in addition, modern poetry while making burst the traditional kinds (poetry lyric, epic, engaged, spiritual, narrative, descriptive…) and while becoming an adding up and free expression even more difficult categorization makes.
However, without being locked up too much in the formal terminology, one can observe " dominantes" keys in the poetic expression (Romance Jakobson defining the dominant one as " the focal element of a work of art " who controls, determines and transforms the other elements (see Antoine Compagnon). The simplest opposition is done between an orientation towards the form (orientation " esthetics ") and an orientation towards the contents (orientation " semantics "), obviously without exclusion of the other since on the one hand there is direction as soon as there are words and that, on the other hand, there is formal expressivity without that it would not be poetic writing. This last multiple and complex orientation is sometimes known as also " ontological " (as by Olivier Salzar), because returning " within the meaning of the being considered simultaneously as being general, abstract, essential and as being singular, concrete, existential " (TCF). Its very vast field can in its turn being subdivided in three dominant (defined by the model of the sign presented by Karl Bühler: " The sign functions as such by its relationships to the transmitter, the receiver and the referent ". These three dominant, there still nonexclusive, is dominant the " expressive " or " emotive " or lyric, with the narrow direction, turned towards ego of the poet, dominant the " conative " , directed towards the recipient whom the poet wants to reach by touching his conscience and his sensitivity as in moral and engaged poetry, and the function " referential " , turned towards a " " object; outside, towards the song of the world in significant, emotional or cultural perceptions as in the celebration or epic poetry where the poet makes sensitive the disproportion of the myths.
But this cutting is only one lighting: poetry, more than any other literary kind, suffers from these approaches of the " learned " whereas it is initially the meeting between that which, by its words, known as itself and its world, and that which receives and shares this revealing. In for example an unclassable work like testifies the Songs to Maldoror of Lautréamont.
The poet artist
The concern of the form is of course constant among poets and of the prosodic rules are worked out little by little with 16th and 17th centuries (account of the “ E dumb” - Diérèse/Synérèse - Césure - purity of the rhymes…). This importance attached to poetic work passes by the Grands Rhetoriqueurs of the end of the 15th century then the Pléiade and the traditional ones (“Beauty, my beautiful concern” will say François de Malherbe), before reappearing at the 19th century in reaction to overflowings and the facilities of romantic poetry . The theorists and experts of Art for art's sake, sharing the conviction that “art saw constraints and dies of freedom”, as will say it to the next century Paul Valéry, will defend the traditional rules (worms syllabic - rhymes - fixed-form poems like the sonnet) with Théophile Gautier or the Parnassiens like Theodore de Banville, Leconte de Lisle or José-Maria de Hérédia. This esthetic design will go even with Mallarmé until a certain hermetism while seeking “to give a purer direction to the words of the tribe” and to raise of the formal challenges (like the sonnet in - ixe/-yx of Mallarmé - the Calligrammes of Apollinaire…) what will systematize in the middle of the 20th century the plays of the Oulipo and Raymond Queneau ( A hundred and thousand billion poems ), Georges Perec or Jacques Roubaud.
One also can, beyond the apparent paradox, to attach to this poetic current which stresses the “form”, the steps of Henri Michaux of which the Large Combat ( Which I was? , 1927) is written in a made invented language of sound suggestion, or the experiments “lettrists” of Isidore Isou. The dead ends of this cut poetry of the heart and sometimes very rhetoric will be regularly fought in the name of the flexibility and of the force of the suggestion, for example by Paul Verlaine and the poets Symbolists or Décadentistes of the end of the 19th century, which will assert a corsetée approach of poetry. This design of a released art of the constraints will carry it largely at the 20th century when poetry will become an adding up expression, beyond the questions of form.
The “lyric” poet
If the “poetic” word has in its daily meaning the direction the harmonious one and of sentimental, it is with the importance of the lyric Poésie that it must. This one, directed towards “ego” of the poet, owes his name with the Lyre which, in Antiquity, accompanied the songs that one then did not distinguish from poetry but does not have to limit itself to the small personal music of the poet singing one of the topics traditional and a priori poetic like the love, death, loneliness, the existential anguish, nature or the daydream. Indeed poetry knew to insert modernity in the poetic field including in its most prosaic aspects more surprising or (“carrion” at Baudelaire, the industrial town at Verhaeren and the commonplace daily newspaper at Verlaine in these worms of Cythère , in the gallant festivals , “the Love filling all, except/the hunger, sorbets and jams/preserve Us aches”…). In fact the variety of the voices is extreme, with however dominant currents according to the times, like the Romantisme and the symbolism at the 19th century or the Surréalisme at the 20th century.
The forms evolve/move they-also passer by for example of the long romantic poem ( With Villequier of Victor Hugo or the Nuits of Alfred de Musset) with the regular sonnet of Baudelaire then to the free shapes of the Symbolists and the expression spouting out of unconscious with the Surréalistes before the spontaneousness of the oral expression of Jacques Prévert in Paroles for example.
The lyric Poésie is for the poet the channel of privileged expression of its sensitivity and its subjectivity which symbolizes the Pelican ( Nuit of May ) of Alfred de Musset. But this poetry goes beyond the confidence to express the human condition and Hugo proclaims in the Foreword of the Contemplations : “When I speak about me, I speak to you about you! ”. This “song of the heart”, privileged field of “I”, to which the recipient adheres however, is thus opposed to descriptive poetry and objectifies even rhetoric of the Parnassiens or with the narrative Poetry of the novels of the Moyen-Âge and with the kind epic which treats topics heroic and mythical with rate/rhythm and color or with the poetry of ideas (Lucrèce - Ovide - Voltaire) for which the poetic form is not the concern first.
The poet prophet, discoverer of the world
The art of poetry is also traditionally associated with the " gift of poetry " , i.e. with a quasi divine function of the poet inspired, in relation to the Muses and crowned, with which returns the role of decoder of the invisible one. It is the design of the Antiquity represented by Plato which makes say to Socrate (in Ion ) in connection with the poets: “They speak indeed, not under the terms of an art, but of a divine power " . In XVIe century, the Pleiad will take again this prospect and Ronsard will write these worms in its " Anthem of the Fall " : " Inspiring the heart inside to me a gift of poesy,/That God conceded only with the agitated spirit Of the poignant pivots of his Divinity. /When the man is touched by it, he becomes a prophet " ) and it is in this line that will be registered the romantic poets and after them Baudelaire and the poets Symbolists. This particular function of the poet will find a partisan exemplary with Arthur Rimbaud which in its famous letter in Paul Demeny request with the Poet to be made " seeing by a length, immense and reasoned disordered state of all the directions " and to be " really robber of fire " , and to find " the new one, - ideas and forms " , by evoking " elsewhere; the alchemy of the verb " who must be the instrument of the poet-discoverer.
After the First World War and Apollinaire, defender him also of " The nouveau" spirit; , the surrealist ones, heirs to this enthusiasm rimbaldien, will entrust to the poetic image the responsibility to exceed reality and to open " fields magnétiques" innovators putting at the day the unconscious one, which will formulate Louis Aragon in the Peasant of Paris while speaking about " put out of order and passion use of the narcotic image".
In years 50-70, reconsidering this systematization of the image, the poets will direct themselves more towards a poetry-celebration, a song of the world orphic or towards a lyric poetry, song of the heart which makes hear the personal voice of the poets like that of Jules Supervielle, Rene Char or Yves Bonnefoy.
The committed poet
However, certain Romantic and particularly Victor Hugo will insert the poet in the City by allotting to him a role of guide for the people. Of prophet, he becomes Messie as celebrates it " exposes it; Function of the poet " ( Rays and the Shades , 1837) where Victor Hugo defines the poet as " the dreamer crowned " , elected official of God " who speaks with his heart " , become carrying light and visionary, " future times boring the shades ". The committed poetry of the epic Punishments at the same time and Satirique will be the following stage for Victor Hugo who will be posed like the Opponent with " Napoleon small the ". Jehan Rictus testifies with its singular poetry to the life to the poor at the end of the 19th century, contrasting with the distancié Naturalism of Zola.
Religious engagements, (of Charles Péguy for example), or ideological will find at the XXe century like a distance heritage of Ronsard ( Discours ) or of Agrippa of Aubigné with Louis Aragon, cantor of Communism ( Hourra the Ural , 1934), Paul Claudel, petainist in 1941 (" Words with the Marshal ") or Paul Éluard (" Ode with Staline" , 1950) or Jacques Prévert and his positions anarchizing in Words (1946-1949).
The poets of the Négritude , Aime Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor in particular, represent as for them a particular branch of the French-speaking poetry of the 20th century, whose engagement and the conveyed ideas, very strong, are still rather confidential in France. The first is the cantor of the Antilles, having the will of " to plunge in the truth of the être" , haunted by the question of the uprooting of the descendants of slaves ( Book of a Return to the Native Land ). Second created a poetry with universal vocation having the hope like leitmotiv, the use of the French language and the positive references to the culture Frenchwomen mix with the African historical subjects which it vivifies ( Chaka ).
But it is also " honor of poets " to have taken part in the Resistance while publishing clandestinely of Ţuvres important. It is the case of Louis Aragon ( Eyes of Elsa , 1942 - the French Diane , 1944), of Paul Éluard ( Poésie and truth , 1942 • With go German , 1944), of Rene Char ( Feuillets of Hypnos , 1946) or of Rene-Guy Cadou ( Pleine Chest , 1946). The poets will not be saved besides by the extermination Nazi: Robert Desnos will die in a German camp and max Jacob in the Camp of Drancy.
During the recent time, the engagement of the poets seems to be especially the fact of singers like Léo Ferré or Jean Ferrat.
The poetry of Avant-gardeIn parallel of institutional poetry, developed 20th century, a poetry protestor as well at the political level, as at the linguistic level. This dash, which is synthesized under the name of Avant-garde was born with the Futuriste S Italian and Russian and the movement Dada, in particular Raoul Hausmann or Kurt Schwitters. The avant-gardes, far from being only epiphenomenes in the history of poetry, crossed the century to lead to the literary experiments developed by writers like Christian Prigent, Jean-Pierre Verheggen, aiming at a poetic form of déconstruction of modernity.
The denunciation on which is based the avant-gardes is that of the connection between the political power and the language, in particular the journalistic language, such as from the start Hugo Ball states it. Therefore the avant-gardes aim at a negative modernity, a reversal of the values, and seek a form of language not alienated by the company, near to the intensities of the body. The first outstanding creations are those of Raoul Hausmann then of Kurt Schwitters and his poem Ursonate . It is a question of creating a sound poem, which is freed from the current intelligibility of the words and which by their phonetism , starts with a significant approach. In this horizon Antonin Artaud, dissociating surrealism, a poetic approach related to the breath will try, that is by the search for a body language (search for signs which it métaphoriquement compares with the hiéroglyphes).
In connection with the searchs for avant-garde, as from the years 1950 appeared a poetic step wanting to break with the book. These creations, in the line of the sound approaches resulting as well from the music bruitist of futuristic Italian, as of the phonetic approaches of Hobby-horse, in France, had like major representative Bernard Heidsieck, François Dufrêne and Henri Chopin, all the three inventors of the sound Poésie .
Vis-a-vis the toughening of the avant-gardes, as from the years 1980 a Post-modern approach more , bound partly to the American Objectivisme developed: obliteration of the author to the profit of formal research relating to languages para-arts persons. This approach was visible with the first texts published of Olivier Cadiot, then creation in 1989 of the Revue Java in particular animated by Jean-Michel Espitallier.
ConclusionThe " term; poésie" recover aspects very different since this one was released from an easily identifiable versified form and even from the " poème" , and it is undoubtedly more convenient of speaking d'" expression poétique". Nevertheless the specificity of the poetic text remains through its density which exploits at the same time the sound and the direction; it is difficult besides to translate a poem in another language: is it necessary to be worried direction initially or is necessary it to seek to invent sound and rhythmic equivalences? But the question is put to know if the rejection of the traditional processes of the worms and the rhyme did not weaken the poetic expression: this one certainly is largely practiced as the blogs testify some to today, but its diffusion in bookstore is quite rare for the new poets. They are expressed besides perhaps more with the support of the music in the more dubious kind of the poetry-song with for example the Rap or the slam. Nevertheless each year sees refleurir the Printemps of the Poets, awaking despite everything " the Man indifferent to the dream of the aïeux " …
Indeed, through Poetry , essence remains the awakening of the capacity of the words and the beauty of the language, to start with a language known as and listened. For the amateur of poetry, " at the beginning is the Verb " and its creative power which nourishes the memory and transforms the night into light , like makes it say Jean-Luc Godard to his hero who comes to fight against a dehumanized world directed by a computer in " Alphaville".
Lastly, poetry is of course a universal literary expression, but the particular concern to exploit the complete resources of the language which defines the kind determined the choice of the fulcrums limited to the French language.
- Lists of poets
- History of French poetry
- poetic Art
- Art of the worms
- sound Poetry
- Edition of poetry in France
- DITL, international Dictionary of the literary terms
- On the site Gallica
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