10 characteristics of POEMS

1 year ago

A poem has distinctive characteristics in terms of form, format, extension, use of language, themes, and purpose that make it distinguishable from other literary genres such as narrative.

what is a poem

A poem is a composition in verse or prose that is classified within the poetic genre, rather than another, due to particular characteristics, such as: the tendency to brevity, intensity, lyricism, and the intention to broaden the horizons of meaning. of language, in order to communicate something more than what is explicitly communicated by a sentence or a set of sentences.

Throughout the history of human civilization, in all known great cultures, poems have been a central form of expression in different contexts and formats. Poetry has certain formal elements that were used and have continued to be used with greater or lesser intensity, depending on the language and culture.

Main features of a poem



  1. Rhythm: Any succession of words in prose or verse has a natural rhythm, but in the specific case of the poem, it is customary to search through rhythm for a certain musical sense that enhances the flow and cohesion of the poem as a unit, as well as being coherent. and add meaning to each phrase or moment of the poem. Since ancient times there have been conventional forms that have had particular popularity, and have been used for specific purposes. These forms consist of predefined groupings of the different verse types and especially the number of verses. For example: the sonnet, the tenth or the lira. the eight syllable, the hendecasyllable or the hexasyllable.
  2. Brevity: Poems are a form of expression that tends towards brevity and condensed phrases, which is why they are commonly built in verses, verses or short sections of prose. Famous poems such as the Odyssey, the Iliad, the Aeneid and the Divine Comedy, which are longer, can be found in Greek, Roman or Renaissance antiquity. Since unlike the lyrical tradition that developed later, they did not seek to express deep feelings or states of mind and existence but to recreate epic or religious stories.
  3. The musicality: there are certain elements of language that are associated with poetry such as rhyme. This is due to the musical nature of most of the poems, which even serve as the basis for the composition of the songs.
  4. The use of language: We can perceive a particular tone in the language used in poetry, due to its intensity, the breadth of meanings that can resonate in it and that moves between the limits of spoken language, the communicable, the rational and the irrational. Due to these characteristics, poems exist as a certain way of communicating something, it is difficult for them to be written in another way without losing or modifying their meaning, and they are equally difficult to translate.
  5. The theme: There are poetic compositions on almost any theme, but depending on the time, each poetic tradition tends to resort to certain topics typical of the culture in which they are composed.


  6. Purpose: Although many poems narrate situations, their purpose is fundamentally to communicate and express ideas, emotions and feelings through very characteristic resources such as poetic images. Poems do not have a plot, unlike narrative works.
  7. The difficulty: The best poetic works propose readings at different levels, which can only be accessed through a concentrated, reflective reading and as long as one has some experience in the genre. This is one of the reasons why poetry is an art for minority consumption.
  8. The genders: Mainly they can be epic, lyrical or dramatic
  9. Secondary genres: In some situations they may have other secondary genres such as satirical or didactic.
  10. The popularity: In other times, poetry has had great popularity and had a certain role in the daily and cultural life of peoples. As part of the songs it had and has a great presence, but as individual art it is little consumed and has little reach within the majority of the population, unlike music or cinema.




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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2024) 10 characteristics of POEMS, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-poems/ (Consultado el: 22-06-2024)

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