What Qualities Define a Good Poem from a Timelessly Elegant Piece?

Poetry is certainly a tough subject to grasp; particularly for those who might not be entirely comfortable with the written word. However, some of the most amazing lines of text ever written have been created in such a manner and this very same sense of passion continues into these modern times. While we have all heard of names such as Keats, Frost and Whitman, why are these authors considered be some of the greatest? In the same respect, what are some of the differences between a few well-written stanzas and a poem that will resonate with the reader for months or even years to come? Although this is an entirely subjective question, it is still wise to take a look at a handful of variables that may come to mind. 


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The Ability to Identify Directly with the Reader


This is actually one of the very same traits which has served to define brilliant literature in the past. Take a few moments to think about your favourite poem. How does it make you feel? The chances are high that it has the innate capability to take you on an emotionally visceral journey; to make you believe as if you are living life through the eyes of the writer. Great poetry transcends time, space and location. Its impact will be just as powerful five years from now as it is today. 


Many readers judge "greatness" off of how much they can identify with what is being described. Thus, some will gravitate more towards subjects such as loss while others prefer a poem describing a sense of immaculate. In other words, beauty is once again in the eye of the beholder. 


Great Poems Create a Verbal "Texture"


While this may seem like a strange comparison, how do all of the top global brands market a product to the end user? They present an image, a vision and an outcome. While this is one of the core tenets of any marketing campaign, it also shares certain similarities with great poetry.


A great poem should use words to create a mentally tangible "texture" that seems as if it leaps off of the page. This texture (whether beautiful or decidedly ugly) can thereafter be used to stoke feelings and to create an emotional response. Thus, a great poet possesses the seemingly god-like ability to amalgamate a series of words in such a way as to create an emotion or sensation that is nearly palpable to the reader. Of course, such talents are normally not born overnight.


Please keep in mind that there are a milieu of other ways to define what might make a poem "great" in terms of the reader's perspective. These are simply a handful of the most common observations. Whether you are hoping to enjoy fame as a poet or you enjoy being transported to an entirely different dimension, there is no doubt that well-written poetry will provide you with a means to ultimately transcend what can often times be considered a rather dull existence.

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