What is poetry? Can you define it without looking up the word in the dictionary?

I no longer rely exclusively upon the reference book definition of poetry, primarily because poetic verse is so much more to me than something that others can define. This page will be dedicated to poetry in all of the various forms that it can take, starting with one of my favorites Langston Hughes.



What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?