Chaos in Poetry - D.H. Lawrence

POETRY, they say, is a matter of words. And this is just as much true as that pictures are a matter of paint, and frescoes a matter of water and colour-wash. It is such a long way from being the whole truth that it is slightly silly if uttered sententiously.

Poetry is a matter of words. Poetry is a stringing together of words into a ripple and jingle and a run of colours. Poetry is an interplay of images. Poetry is the iridescent suggestion of an idea. Poetry is all these things, and still it is something else. Given all these ingredients, you have something very like poetry, something for which we might borrow the old romantic name of poesy. And poesy, like a bric-à-brac, will forever be in fashion. But poetry is still another thing.

The essential quality of poetry is that it makes a new effort of attention, and « discovers » a new world within the known world. Man, and the animals, and the flowers, all live within this strange and for ever surging chaos.