The Influence Of Poetry And Prose

939 words - 4 pages

Edgar Allan Poe that is a name we all should know. Poe is known for his dark, gothic short stories and poems. Poe also is known for his “Poetic Principle.” This principle professes that “through poetry one achieves beauty and through prose one achieves truth.” Some people beg to differ with this statement, while I for one concur with it. Even though people presume that beauty cannot be attained by poetry because beauty is simply an aesthetic thing and that truth cannot be attained by prose because short stories are nothing but fiction, I correspond with Poe because beauty to me is inside and out and can be achieved through poetry because poetry gives you a different perspective on how you conceive the world. I also agree with Poe that truth can be achieved by prose because most short stories have a deep moral lesson to be learned.
What is beauty? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary explicates beauty as the quality of being physically attractive and the qualities in a person or thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind. Beauty as stated above can be a quality in a person that you find appealing. The Bible states, “Do not consider his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the thing man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV) This goes to show that beauty isn’t just outside, but also inside. Poetry can make you beautiful. Poetry gives you a deeper meaning to the things that you believe are too small to be significant. For example in Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee,” Poe says “…the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.” In this example the wind could be more than just wind; it could be a disease, such as tuberculosis which killed three women in his life, or it could just mean death. By seeing a deeper meaning to the things around us we have an inner beauty to see the world in distinct ways.
“…through prose one achieves truth.” (Poetic Principle) The second part of the poetic principle is one many disagree with for the mere fact that prose, otherwise known as short stories, is nothing but fiction. The definition of prose, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is writing that is not poetry: ordinary writing. There is a thing, however, called fictional truth that takes play in many short stories. Everyone has heard this but it has always been referred to as a “moral lesson” by our parents. “Fiction is not truth. It is an illusion. It is a lie that makes us realize truth.” (Hood) Short stories make us see the truth in a lie. We can achieve the truth because we learn it in a type of way that appears to...

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