Poetry is a verbal expression of man's totality, that expression being as varied as the moods that pass over his soul. It is the varied expression of thought, laboring under emotions, produced by different influences.
William Wordsworth, considered to be one of the greatest English Romantic poets defined poetry as the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings..." This was confirmed by Pershe Bysshe Shelley in his "A Defense of Poetry" when he said that poetry is not like reasoning, a power exerted according to the determination of the will. This power comes from within. As such, poetry may grapple with the basic human emotions and sentiments on a purely individual plane. It may speak of love or hatred, of joy or sorrow, of fear and hope.
Hence, i find it unseemly for some writers to consider emotions, such as love, a trivial, shallow and superficial subjects of poetry. I profess that such writers lack depth of character and intellect and, therefore, must need proper orientation of what poetry is, and of literature as a whole.
Individual character has much to do in the moulding of poetic expression. Thus, prejudicial writers deprecating human emotions as potential subjects of poetry, cleaving instead to the exposition of current fetid ills of the society are nothing but great pretenders, seeking to awaken other's sensibilities without opening his own visions of what poetry is.
Poetry is highly infinite. Various interpretations by different people of diverse ages and times are derived out of a single work depending upon the reader's sensibility and receptivity,
There are many ways of seeing. Each literary artist sees the world in his own individual way, expresses it in his own individual style. It is the individual reader's task to discern and interpret the work, the interpretation being comprehensible and logical, having been consciously guided by the textual content.
How much we derive from our readings depends not only on the skills of the writer, but largely on our sensibilities and opennes as readers. if we are sensitive and receptive, we carry away something of value regardless of how insignificant the subject is. Thus, a poem presented in the simplest way, imploring personal emotions and deep sentiments (again, as love), constantly frowned at by few self-proclaimed intellectual writers may be ingterpreted in its most universal context by the universal thinkers. The subtleties and profundities are unveiled only by the subtle and profound minds.
Some literary writers then must refrain from the irrational idea of obliterating personal emotions and particularity for fear of threatening the poetic principle of universality.
I adhere to the contention that social awareness must be spurred and developed, and must be reflected in today's writings as it need be. But let it be known that the measure of poetry is not solely based on its social context nor on immediacy or timeliness of the work, rather, a work of literature is a product of various influences, the social conditions influencing the author being but one. Setting a line, therefore, between an excellent and inferior work by the sole virtue of the social value oor relevance it bears at the moment is absolutely insane.
Confinement to the realms of societal occurrences and expressing contempt over the very personal and subjective expressions deprive beginning writers of a chance to explore their own dimensions. Apprehensions and inhibitions are bitter consequences of such a perception, retarding in the process the growth of such inherent literary forte which in due time matures to its brim and strives towards the humanization and concretization of facts, the distinguishing marks of literature.
Social events and realities of the present times are of paramount importance;nevertheless, such great enterprise must never limit the illimitable creativity, imagination and forms of expressions of literary men.