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Ars Poetica or the Amazing Art of Poetry

For the letter A, I bring to you Ars Poetica literally translated as “the art of poetry,” or “on the art of poetry”; it is not a poetic form nor a style but more about the theme of the poem.

shows a typewriter with a paper in it, and scrabble tiles spelling the word poetry next to it. Title of image is April 2022 A2Z Challenge

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About Ars Poetica aka ‘The Art of Poetry’

A term meaning “the art of poetry,” an Ars Poetica poem expresses the poet’s aims, thoughts, and theories about and for poetry. The history of the Ars Poetica dates back to 19 BC when Horace wrote his poem titled Ars Poetica. Since then, many have written their own ars poeticas, often titling it simply ‘Ars Poetica.’

Poets use this to

  • examine their role as poets by looking at themselves as subjects
  • look at their relationships to the specific poem or poetry itself
  • think about the act of writing poetry
  • compare themselves with their poems as subjects
  • and so much more

I loved this Oregon State University article explaining the Ars Poetica. The author starts off with a delightful example of a third-grader’s definition of poetry: “Poetry is an egg with a horse inside.” So read it in its entirety for yourself!

Colleen Abel, in her essay – The Poet’s Manifesto here, compares the Ars Poetica to the artist’s statement for their art (like the ones you find in art galleries and museums which talk about the artist’s feelings about that specific piece of art).

Further reading and h/t:

My Attempt at an Ars Poetica

I realized that this is not my first Ars Poetica. I wrote one earlier here which takes a different approach, so if you feel like it, go ahead and read that one too!

Poetic Ponderings
Feelings fall all over each other
Thoughts tumble across the pages
And I –
I attempt to string them together
To make sense (or nonsense)

These words my heart feels
These lines my mind conjures
These stories I imagine
Do they belong here?
On this piece of paper?
Do I dare use fancy fonts,
Or just work with defaults?

These poems I am yet to write
Spanning the alphabet
Will they be me?
I wonder, and…
Pour poetic ponderings on pages…
~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites

image shows a hand holding a brush and painting the word poetry on a wall. Pin title is Ars Poetica: The Art of Poetry

Avidly Reads Poetry

Title: Avidly Reads Poetry
Author: Jacquelyn Ardam
Publishers: NYU Press (April 5, 2022)
Genre: Nonfiction (Adult) | Poetry
Source: e-RC from NetGalley


Poetry is everywhere. From Amanda Gorman performing “The Hill We Climb” before the nation at Joe Biden’s Presidential inauguration, to poems regularly going viral on Instagram and Twitter, more Americans are reading and interacting with poetry than ever before. Avidly Reads Poetry is an ode to poetry and the worlds that come into play around the different ways it is written and shared.

Mixing literary and cultural criticism with the author’s personal and often intimate relationship with poetry, Avidly Reads Poetry breathes life into poems of every genre—from alphabet poems and Shakespeare’s sonnets to Claudia Rankine’s Citizen and Rupi Kaur’s Instapoetry—and asks: How do poems come to us? How do they make us feel and think and act when they do? Who and what is poetry for? Who does poetry include and exclude, and what can we learn from it?

Each section links a reason why we might read poetry with a type of poem to help us think about how poems are embedded in our lives, in our loves, our educations, our politics, and our social media, sometimes in spite of, and sometimes very much because of, the nation we live in.

Part of the Avidly Reads series, this slim book gives us a new way of looking at American culture. With the singular blend of personal reflection and cultural criticism featured in the series, Avidly Reads Poetry shatters the wall between poetry and “the rest of us.”

My Quick Thoughts

I perused this book and need to still deep-dive into it. Note that it is a short read but I did a quick glance to be able to get an idea of the book.

What I like:

  • Ardam’s effortless combination of memoir and analysis
  • The introduction to so many poets and poems that I had not known of earlier. While Ardam of course includes many popular poets and poems, there are others that I discovered through the pages

What I could have done with less-of:

  • Ardam’s critique of certain poets and poems is sometimes harsh and sounds even bitter. While on the one hand, I admire the honesty, on the other, it seems out of place in context.
  • Politics.. there is so much talk of it within the pages of this book about poetry that again feels totally out of context

In Summary

Overall, I would recommend this read to anyone who wants to read poetry, or more precisely read about reading poetry. This book is kind of an Ars Poetica by itself! And I now want to check out the rest of the Avidly Reads series!

Preorder it on Amazon

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, this marks the beginning of the month long series of challenges. For those of you who are part of one or more of these challenges, here is wishing us all good luck. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this post and share your feedback, comments

Previous posts for this challenge are in links below.

Day 0

Linking up to BlogChatterA2Z, Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge, NaPoWriMo, and the Ultimate Blog Challenge

19 thoughts on “Ars Poetica or the Amazing Art of Poetry

  1. Great start. I am not really a big fan of poetry but I think it’s because I don’t always understand what they’re talking about. I got yours though and it was cute. Also loved Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem so much that I asked for her book for Christmas and got it!

  2. I enjoyed your poem, so I’ll have to try one. Later because I’m not feeling super motivated right now to write a poem. Nevertheless, your poem is quite delightful, and I love the concept of writing a poem about being a poet (well, for me, it’s more like a poet-wanna-be!).

  3. I was not familiar with ars poetica and as always like to better myself when it comes to knowledge of literature. I haven’t read poetry in a while and it is nice to read some on your blog.

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