Thursday, April 29, 2004

Poet - Definition #1 & #2

Poet: 1. A writer of poems.

Well -- that was simple! That would include just about anyone who ever wrote a poem, from a gift card message to an advertising jingle to Edna St. Vincent Millay and Robert Frost.

Poet: 2. One who is especially gifted in the perception and expression of the beautiful or lyrical.

(Lyrical having many definitions, I believe this one applies: "music-like sensuality of expression")

In my own words for my own use: A person with skills of perception and expression of beauty or song. One could say Claude Monet or Vincent van Gogh were poets with paint. Or Jackson Pollack, if you like something more modern as an example.

Having just received David Ross's poems The Jasmine Papers and read it cover to cover, I am of the opinion he was a terrific lyrical poet. He's the first two stanzas of his Night Letter:
Dear violet personal night
your sky's so mine and ours
jacarandas everywhere

shed petals
purple the ground
sweet must:

The rest of the poem soars and dips like a Verdi aria, piercing the reader with the intricate, finely calculated alliteration for which David was famous. David Ross passed away in 1994. He was notoriously argumentative. I had the pleasure of knowing him for about 20 years and never having gotten in an argument with him in all that time. I truly miss hearing his deep, sonorous voice reading his poems. You can order The Jasmine Papers from Dean Blehert.

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