Poetry (old spelling was poësie) is a very ancient literary genre in varied forms which represents both verse and prose that, in which the dominant importance is given to the "form", that is to say meaning. Poetry is an art of language that makes maximum use of the resources of language: the work on the form multiplies the power of meaning.

The word comes from Greek poetry ποιεῖν (poiein) meaning to create "the poet is a creator, an inventor of expressive forms, which also reveal the terms of the Middle Ages and trouvère troubadour.

In ancient Greek any literary expression is described as poetic, whether in public speaking, singing or theatre: "any manufacturer text" is a poet as expressed in the etymology. The Greek philosophers sought to refine the definition of poetry and Aristotle in his Poetics identifies three kinds of poetry: the epic poetry, poetry comic drama and poetry. Later theorists aesthetics retain three genres: epic, lyric poetry, drama and poetry (including the tragedy as a comedy), and use to emerge as the first characteristic of poetry, thus differentiating prose, which was responsible for the common expression that we will call prosaic.

The word poetry evolve towards an even more restrictive in applying to the verse that make a job privileged rhetorical resources, without prejudging the contents: poetry is descriptive narrative and philosophical before making a growing place for the expression feelings.

Indeed, the first literary expression of humanity, using the pace as an aid to memory and the oral transmission, poetry appears first in a religious and social context in establishing the founding myths in all cultures whatsoever with Gilgamesh, (3rd millennium BC) in Mesopotamia, the Vedas, the Ramayana or Mahabharata Indians, the Hebrew Bible and the Iliad and the Odyssey of the Greeks.

Along with this epic origins consists of long text and narrative, there is a liturgical poem that refers to the celebration of God inspired by the poet whose companies ritualiseront texts in the form of psalms, hymns,… suras. In a more secularized also will develop, building on singing, elegy and the tragedy that express the heart and the destiny of men. Doubtless addition at the same time playing on words with the rhymes, lullabies and other creations that will play, for example, the anglosaxon nonsense.

Between Apollo and Dionysus
Poetry is marked by the spoken word and music from its origins as research rhythms, such as the use of worms, and sound effects, like the rhyming was a mnemonic function for the oral transmission primitive. This bill poetic text specific to the fact that it is primarily meant to be heard rather qu'abordé by reading silently.

Placed under the auspices of Orpheus and musagète Apollo, the god of beauty and the arts, and associated with the muse Erato, music and poetry are also closely linked with the search for harmony and beauty, by the Charm, in the fullest sense of magic chant. The poetic creation, however reluctant constantly between order and appeasement apolliniens qu'explicite Euripides in Alceste: Guil (| What is wilderness, full of disorder and quarrel, the lyre of Apollo softens and soothes the) ) and "Dionysian fury" which refers to the god of ecstasy, the mysteries of rhythm disturbances and natural forces that we discover for example in the Dithyrambe of Ancient Greece.

Function poetic
In linguistics, poetry is described as a statement focused on the form of the message, therefore, where the poetic function is predominant. In prose, the important thing is "meant", it has a purpose "outside" (transmission of information), and is defined as a forward march that can symbolize an arrow and that reveals the root of the Latin word that means " going. " But for poetry, the importance is oriented towards the "form", to the meaning, in a "reflective", symbolized by the "worms" that shows an increase in the recovery with the principle of backsliding ( to be the "backwards") that can be represented by a spiral.

Poetry is therefore not defined by specific topics, but by the care given to major signifier for the increases meant: the enrichment of material language takes into account both the work on the formal aspects that the weight of words going well beyond the ordinary meaning of the term "poetry" which simply refers to the harmonious beauty associated with a certain sentimentality. The offer, however poetic expression in the history of the guidelines vary with the dominant chosen by the poet.

The vers
The layout of the poetic text is traditionally based on the principle of the return and the progress in the recovery appears that the use of worms (regular or not), even if there are mixed forms like poetry or prose poetic prose that replicate the characteristics of the poetic text (hence their names) as the use of images and sounds or seeking rhythms. These worms are often grouped into stanzas and sometimes organized in poems to form sets as the sonnet or the ballad.

Poetry uses to métrée defined by the number of syllables as Alexandrian french, while poetry scandée plays on the length of the feet (and their number) as in dactylic hexameter Greek and Latin, or on the spot as accents in the English pentamètre Iambic. The modern poets are released gradually these rules: for example poets french introduce in the second half of the nineteenth century free verse and the verse, and also calling into question the conventions of the classic rhymes largely disappears in the twentieth century . Tests most marginal graphics have been tempted, for example by Mallarmé (A throw of dice never n'abolira chance), Apollinaire (Calligrammes) or Pierre Reverdy, seeking to speak to the eye and not just in the ear, pulling and the poem on the side of the table.

The musicality
The origin of spoken and sung poetry represented in the lyre of Apollo or the flute Orpheus trademark poetic expression, which is concerned with the rhythm of syllables (peer to / from odd, "silent e"… ) and the play of accents and breaks (hyphenation, enjambement…). Poetry also operates sounds particularly with the rhymes (back to the same sounds at the end of at least two with a base to the last vowel tonic) and its combinations of gender (male or female rhymes), provision (rhymes followed, Cross…) and wealth. It also uses the collection of sounds in one or more worms (alliteration and assonances), the game's chorus (as in the ballad or the Pont Mirabeau of Apollinaire) or correspondence between sound and meaning with the harmonies imitative (eg famous: "For those who are" snakes… Racine) rhyme or semantic (Fall / monotone).

The weight of words
The poet uses all the resources of the language also highlighting words by their rarity and their limited number: sometimes called "poetry-Telegram" where every word "costs" as in the sonnet and its 14 to or in the extreme brevity Japanese haiku three worms. Enrichment also involves finding meaning rare and neologisms (eg "incantation" in the trees of Apollinaire, which "serious magicians / / Incantent the sky when he tonne", or "dawn" associated with the Suns couchants by Verlaine), by the connotations as Inspiration behind the female figure in the Pas de Paul Valéry ( "Nobody pure, divine shadow, / They are soft, your chosen not!") or by networks woven into the lexical poem as religiosity in Harmony evening Baudelaire. The poet has other resources remain the place in the worms or in the poem ( "green" hole in the first to the sleepy valley of Rimbaud which meet the "two red holes right side" of the latest worms) or correspondence with the pace and sounds ( "The coupling suait, blow was delivered."… La Fontaine, The Coche and fly)…

The poet also plays in the development of these words by the figures of speech figures as insistently as the accumulation, parallelism or anaphora (example: "Since the fair is in the abyss, / Since gives the scepter crime, / Because all rights are betrayed, / Because most proud remain bleak, / Since poster at the corner of terminals / dishonor my country… "Hugo, the punishment, II, 5), Opposition figures like chiasmus or oxymoron ( "the sun of the black Nerval Melancholy"), a broken as construction ellipsis or anacoluthe ( "Exiled on the ground in the mid-huées, / His wings strides prevented him from walking, "the Baudelaire Albatros), and of course the figures as alternative comparison and metaphor (de Ronsard and Du Bellay to Jacques Prévert or Eugene Guillevic through Hugo, Apollinaire, and the surrealists many others). The use of the image was also identified as one of the marks of poetic expression; one example of symbolic metaphor spun will report: "(Ruth wondered…) What God, what reaper of the eternal summer / Did, by attacking ranging, casually threw / The sickle gold in the field of stars "(Victor Hugo, Booz asleep).

The broad lines of poetry
The definition of poetic genres has always been discussed in discussing formal criteria and / or content criteria (object), and also modern poetry burst through the traditional genres (lyric poetry, epic, committed, spiritual, narrative, descriptive…) and becoming a totalitarian and free expression makes it even more difficult to categorize.

However, without shutting themselves in the terminology too formalistic, it is possible to observe "dominant" in key poetic expression (Roman Jakobson defining the dominant as "focal element of a work of art" that governs, and determines transforms the other elements (see Antoine Compagnon. Opposition easiest is between a referral to the form (orientation "aesthetic") and an orientation content (orientation "semantics"), of course, without excluding the other because on the one hand there once there is a sense words and, on the other hand, there are formal expressiveness without it there would not be writing poetry. multiple That last provision is complex and sometimes also called "ontological" (as in Olivier Salzar, because returning "in the sense of being viewed simultaneously as being generally abstract, essential and as being unique, concrete existential" (TCF) .'s wide field can in turn be divided into three dominant (as defined by the model of the sign submitted by Karl Bühler: "The sign functions as such by its relations with the transmitter, receiver and the referent". these three dominant again non-exclusive, are the dominant "expressive" or "emotional" or lyrical, in the narrow sense, I turned to the poet of the "dominant" conative oriented recipient that the poet wants to reach touching his conscience and his sensitivity as in poetry and moral commitment, and the function "referential", turned to an 'object' exterior, to the singing of the world in perceptions sensitive, emotional or cultural in the celebration or poetry epic in which the poet makes sensible excessive myths.

But this is just the lighting division: poetry, more than any other literary genre, suffers from such approaches "learned" when it is first meeting between the man who, by his words, he said and his world, and the one who receives and shares this unveiling. As exemplified by a work unclassifiable as the Chants de Maldoror Lautréamont.

The poet artist
The concern for the form is, of course, constant among poets and prosodic rules worked out gradually in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (the "silent e" diérèse / synérèse, hyphenation, purity… rhymes). This emphasis on poetic work through the Great rhétoriqueurs from the late fifteenth century and then Pléiade classics ( "Beauty, my beautiful concern," says François de Malherbe), before reappearing in the nineteenth century in response to effusions and facilities the romantic poetry. The theorists and practitioners of the art for art's sake, sharing the belief that "the art of living and dying constraints of liberty", as in the following century tell Paul Valéry, defend traditional rules (towards syllable, rhyming poems Fixed shaped like the sonnet) with Théophile Gautier or Parnassiens as Theodore de Banville, Leconte de Lisle or José María Heredia. This design aesthetics with Mallarmé will even up to a certain hermeticism seeking to "give meaning to the words purest of the tribe" and formal challenges (like the sonnet in -ixe/-yx Mallarmé, Calligrammes d 'Apollinaire…) systématiseront that in the mid-twentieth century games of the Oulipo and Raymond Queneau (hundred thousand billion poems), Georges Perec or Jacques Roubaud.

It can also, beyond the apparent paradox, linked to the poetry that focuses on the "form", the steps of Henri Michaux including Le Grand Combat (1927) is written in a language invented Suggestion made noise, or "experiments" lettristes Isidore Isou. The deadlock cut of this poetry of the soul and sometimes very rhetoric will be regularly fought in the name of flexibility and the power of suggestion, for example, by Paul Verlaine and the symbolist poets or décadentistes of the late nineteenth century, which claim a less corsetée of poetry. This concept of an art free from the largely prevail in the twentieth century when poetry becomes a totalitarian expression, beyond questions of form.

The "lyric" poet
If the word "poetry" in its daily towards harmonious and sentimental, it's the importance of lyrical poetry he owes. The latter, directed towards the "I" of the poet, owes its name to the lyre, which in ancient times, accompanied the songs we could not then poetry, but should not be confined to the small music personal poet singing a traditional themes and poetic as a priori love, death, loneliness, the existential angst, nature or daydream. Indeed poetry was able to enter modernity in the field of poetry including its most surprising or the more prosaic ( "A" at carrion Baudelaire, in the industrial town Verhaeren and trivial daily at Verlaine in these verses of Kythera , in Les fêtes galantes, "Love filling everything but / Hunger, sherbet and jam / preserve We courbatures…"). Indeed the variety of voices is extreme, but with dominant trends over time, like the romance and symbolism in the nineteenth century and surrealism in the twentieth century.

The forms themselves also evolve through example of long romantic poem (At Villequier Victor Hugo or Nuits d'Alfred de Musset) sonnet to regular Baudelaire then to the free-form symbolists and expression of the unconscious Gushing with the Surrealists before spontaneity speaking Jacques Prévert Lyrics for example.

The lyrical poetry is the poet channel expression of its sensitivity and its subjectivity that symbolizes the Pelican (May Night) by Alfred de Musset. But this poetry goes beyond the confidence to express the human condition and Hugo proclaims in the Preface of Contemplations: "When I talk about me, I speak to you! ". This "song of the soul," privileged domain of "I", which is supported by the recipient, however, opposed to poetry descriptive and objective even Parnassians rhetoric or narrative poetry novels from the Middle Ages and gender epic which deals with heroic and mythical themes with rhythm and color or the poetry of ideas (Lucretius, Ovid, Voltaire) for which the poetic form is not the primary concern.

The poet prophet, the discoverer of the World
The art of poetry is also traditionally associated with the "gift" of poetry, ie a quasi-divine inspiration of the poet, in relation with the Muses and the sacred, which is the role of decoder ' invisible. It is the design of the ancient world represented by Plato say that Socrates (Ion) about poets: "They speak in fact, not by art, but a divine power." In the sixteenth century, the Pléiade resume this perspective and Ronsard write these lines in his Ode to Autumn, "M'inspirant inside the soul of a gift poësie, / God has conceded that in the restless spirit / The poignant goads his divinity. / When a man is hit, he became a prophet ") and it is in this line that fit the romantic poets Baudelaire and after them and the symbolist poets. This particular function of the poet is a supporter copy with which Arthur Rimbaud in his famous letter to Paul Demeny asked the poet to be "seeing through a long, huge and rational derangement of all the senses" and of being "really a fire stealer , "and find" new - ideas and forms, "referring to" the verbal alchemy "that must be the instrument of the poet-discoverer.

After the First World War and after Apollinaire, too defender of the "new spirit", the surrealists, inheritors of this enthusiasm rimbaldien, entrusted to the care poetic image to overcome the real and open "magnetic field" Innovative putting on the day the unconscious, what will formulate Louis Aragon in The Farmer Paris speaking about "employment disturbed and passion of narcotic image."

In the years 50-70, returning to this systematization of the image, poets will move more towards a poetry-celebration, a song from the World Orphic or a lyric poetry, song of the soul that the voice personal poets such as Jules Supervielle, Rene Char and Yves Bonnefoy.

We can relate to this vein what is sometimes called the "psychedelic" and poetry associates itself with a certain musical expression which one of the cases in point is Jim Morrison in the United States.

The poet hired
However, some Romantics and particularly Victor Hugo will enter the poet in the City as a guiding role for the people. From prophet, it becomes Messiah as laid out in the famous "Function of the poet" (the Rays and the Shadows, 1840), where Victor Hugo defines as "the poet dreamer sacred," chosen by God ", which speaks to his soul," became the bearer of light and vision, "the future time piercing the shadows." The poetry of punishment committed, both epic and satirical, will be the next step for Victor Hugo that would arise as Opponent to "the little Napoleon". Jehan Rictus testimony with his unique poetry in the lives of the poor in the late nineteenth century, in contrast to the somewhat remote naturalism of Zola.

The religious commitments, (Charles Péguy for example), or ideological find in the twentieth century as a distant legacy of Ronsard (Address) or Agrippa d'Aubigné with Louis Aragon, champion of communism (Hooray Urals, 1934), Paul Claudel, pétainiste in 1941 (Lyrics to Marshal) or Paul Éluard (Ode to Stalin, 1950) and Jacques Prévert and its positions in anarchisantes Lyrics (1946-1949).

The poets of Negritude, Aimé Césaire and Leopold Sedar Senghor including, in turn represent a particular branch of the French poetry of the twentieth century, whose commitment and ideas, very strong, are still confidential France. The first is the champion of the West, with the desire to "plunge into the truth of being", haunted by the question of uprooting the descendants of slaves (Cahier a return home). The second created a universal poetry with hope as leitmotif, the use of the French language and positive references to the French culture mixed with historical subjects that enlivens African (Chaka).

But it is also "honour" of poets as having participated in the resistance by publishing important works clandestinely. Such is the case with Louis Aragon (Les Yeux d'Elsa, 1942; The Diane French, 1944), Paul Éluard (Truth and Poetry, 1942; At rendezvous German, 1944), Rene Char (Sheets' Hypnos, 1946) or René-Guy Cadou (Full Chest, 1946). The poets will also not spared by the Nazi extermination: Robert Desnos died in a German camp and Max Jacob in the camp of Drancy.

In recent years, the commitment of poets seems to be mainly the work of singers like Leo Ferré or Jean Ferrat.

The contemporary poetry
In parallel to poetry institutional grew in the twentieth century, a poetry protest both at the political level, the language level. That momentum, which is synthesized as the avant-garde was born with Futuristes Italian and Russian, and the Dada movement, including Raoul Hausmann and Kurt Schwitters. Avant-garde, far from becoming mere épiphénomènes in the history of poetry, crossed the century to achieve the literary experiments developed by writers such as Christian Prigent, Jean-Pierre Verheggen, for a form of poetic deconstruction modernity.

The denunciation on which the avant-garde is the connection between the political power and the language, especially the language of journalism, as stated at the outset Hugo Ball. That is why the avant-garde modernism aim negative, a reversal of values, and seek a form of language not alienated by the company, close to the intensity of the body. The first notable creations are those of Raoul Hausmann then Kurt Schwitters and his poem Ursonate. The goal is to create a poem sound, which itself from the intelligibility common words and whose phonétisme trigger a sensitive approach. In this horizon Antonin Artaud, standing out of surrealism, a poetic attempt linked to the blast, as it is by a search for more body language (looking for signs that metaphorically compares with hieroglyphics). Radical Steps also develop in different directions as the literacy of Isidore Isou or in the development of performance poetry.

In conjunction with the leading-edge research, the 1950 has emerged a poetic wanting to break with the book. These creations, in line with sound approaches from both the noisy music of the Italian Futurists, as phonetic approaches to Dada, in France, had as representing major Bernard Heidsieck, François Dufrêne and Henri Chopin, all three inventors of sound poetry.

Faced with the radical avant-gardes, developed from 1980's a more post-modern, partly related to the American objectivism: effacement of the author the benefit of formal research on language para - literary. This approach was visible with the original texts published by Olivier Cadiot, and the creation in 1989 of the Journal including Java led by Jean-Michel Espitallier.

More recently poetry, partly as a result of development or performance of public readings, outgoing resolutely book, has developed in multiple directions as multimedia, with a large development of video poetry, biological (Eduardo Kac ), spatial poetry, poetry generative (Jean-Pierre Balpe).

The term "poetry" covers very different aspects since it emerged in a form readily recognizable verses and even the "poem", and it may be more convenient to speak of "poetic expression." But the specificity of the poetic text remains through its density which is trying to exploit at the same time all the possibilities offered by the specific language it is difficult to translate a poem into another language: should we be concerned ' First of meaning or should it seek to invent equivalents and rhythmic sound?

Poetry has become over time, especially in modern times, a very sophisticated art has gradually cut off from its roots, however popular poetry is widely practised as evidenced by the blogs, or the numerous lectures or festivals devoted to it, but its distribution in bookstores is increasingly rare despite a multitude of tiny publishing houses (see edition of poetry in France).

Some contemporary attempts, under the influence of dub poetry including American also expressed perhaps more with the support of music in the genre more uncertain of poetry-eg song with rap or slam. But every year sees blossom festivals in France importance as the voices of the Mediterranean, the spring of Poets, the International Biennial of Poets in Val-de-Marne (BIPVAL), awakening nonetheless "Man indifferent to the dream of "forefathers…

Indeed, through poetry, the bulk remains awareness of the infinite creativity and beauty of the language, starting with a language known and heard. For the lover of poetry, "in the beginning was the Word" and its creative power that feeds memory and transforms light into the night, as did say Jean-Luc Godard at his hero just fight a world governed by a dehumanized computer in Alphaville.

Finally, the poetry is of course a universal literary expression, but the particular concern to exploit the full resources of the language that defines the genre has determined the choice of supporting points limited to the French language.

Read also The Naked Man


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