A little thought and a new poem

I've been doing a lot of poetry writing and reading this month (as if I don't do it any other month), and I've come to several conclusions:
1. Some people think they are poets.
2. Some people think they are poets who are actually really great story tellers.
3. Some people write commentary thinking it's poetry.
4. We have no idea what makes poetry.
So, I started thinking about this. What makes poetry? We can take a look at a painting and say, "That's a painting." We can to the same with sculpture. We can do the same with acting. We can do the same with novels and short stories. But, what is poetry? Ever read the epic of Gilgamesh, Beowulf? Those are poems!
Poetry has been described as the heart's song. It's been described as the suffering of the human soul. It's been characterized as the truth of life. But, it's none of these and all of these. Poetry is the art of the wordsmith.
Like there are the Pollucks and van Goghs, poetry exists in forms that fit the person. We can't classify poetry so much as we can classify the poet. There exists poetry that may ring true for one person and yet be the bane of another. It's not simple, yet it's existence in its simplest form.
That is all.

"The Fallen"
This prompt is difficult. It is "write a comparison poem." But, metaphor is a comparison, is it not?
And would we be poets if we were not masters of the metaphor?

His shield had long since fallen to the mire,
his breast burned savagely for rest,
for his arms were heavy and his heart aspired
to see the sun find it’s way to the horizon.

Around him lay the gentle breathing of the dead.
Their whispers pricked his ears, deafening
and beckoning him to his eternal bed.
He licked salt, or was it blood, from his lips.

The sky was an unholy color, smeared
with the anguish of redemption.
And as he stared out into the sea, he neared
a moment of exultation.

In an hour’s time, he would find his home.
The poppies would be in bloom, right now,
crowding the rosemary and grown
into the peas and the jasmine.

His wife would be standing in the shade.
His children would be playing in the
fields, running after the galloping greys.
Home soon, he thinks to himself.

He closes his eyes for just one breeze
and felt his helmet for the first time.
He was tired, and he fell to his knees.
The juggernaut was approaching.

To be in this moment, to see the world
in perfect celerity, is to be blessed,
he thought while the wind reached and curled
around his face. He filled his lungs with air.

His home was worth dying for. He hefted
his blade to his shoulder and used the last
strength his had in his left in his legs. He lifted
his body into the sky and faced West.

He prayed, something he hadn’t done in years.
The juggernaut was fast approaching,
steam from its shoulders, pounding in his ears.
He would be home soon.

He looked back one last time toward the place
he had grown. The oak still stood, alone,
the last of the memories that served to grace
the land around him. He gripped tighter

his blade and raised it high into the sky.
He could have run. He could have been
simply out of breath and sore. But why?
Why die a coward under the shade of a fig tree?

No. This is true death. This is the death of man.
He smiled as the juggernaut’s heat blazed forth,
knowing that to die in the face of life can
beg no comparison to the life of a beggar.

He swung, mighty and true, strong and wise,
and awoke to the song of angels.


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