It is widely conceived that poetry is the finest form of literary art. An ardent reader of poems will always argue that it is at least the best form of among the other literary forms. But what is poetry? It is very queer that none has so far been able to give a definition of poetry acceptable to all. Poetry has actually very vast diversity and dimension of features. One single definition is not enough to cover them all. They are consistently expanding. Newer things with newer dimensions are always being introduced to it. However, the purpose of this article is not to define poetry or speak about all the features of poetry. It is rather to explore the role of music in poetry. How does music affect poetry?
Let us start with the question, how is poetry related to music? To be precise, music flowing inside the arranged meaningful words in a poem is the asset that turns the collection of words used to express something into a poem. This musical flow is created by the sounds of the words used together. If we read a poem carefully with attention to all that happen to us when reading, we can feel that there is a tune that binds the words with a musical rhythm. It can be best perceived when we read any rhyme. Even a free verse which is devoid of the rhyming end has a certain musical flow that is composed of sounds of the words. It sometimes reaches its zenith when the poet is conscious of the musical aspects of the words used. Some think that spontaneous expression of emotions and intellect makes the musical flow better than when it is composed consciously. Whatever it is, one thing is evident that without the musical flow a poem is merely a collection of words purposed to express something.
Poetry has historically adopted this feature in it. It is known to all that modern poetry is a higher form of the ancient lyrics which were actually sung with the lyre. These lyrics were actually used to present higher philosophical things in an easy and enjoyable manner. Since that period music has always been an inseparable part of poetry. The best poetry in all literature possesses musical elements in them.
Poets use some tools to weave musical threads into poetry. Meters in successive lines are a popular device. Those who prefer free verse use words with subtle discretion so that a continuous rhythmic flow is produced. And thus, a poem is enlivened by the musical fluid. Young poets who have just started to compose poems should learn about this and acquire this skill for themselves. They should also pay heed to the inner music of all living beings, to the harmony of living, to the sounds produced all around so that they can invent their own music to fuse in poetry.