“When words are selected and arranged in such a way that their meaning either arouses or is obviously intended to arouse, aesthetic imagination, the result may be described as poetic diction.
Imagination is recognizable as aesthetic, when it produces pleasure merely by its proper activity. Meaning includes the whole content of a word, or of a group of words arranged in a particular order…
…a realm of human experience…that [poetry] exists primarily in the world of consciousness.”
“‘felt change of consciousness,’ where ‘consciousness’ embraces all of my surroundings at any given moment…includes my own feelings.”
Taken from Poetic Diction by Owen Barfield.
Reading poetry is supposed to have an actual affect on your life. It can shift the way you think and see the world, and usually for the better.
Poetry is elevated language. When done correctly it has the ability to capture a wealth of meaning in just a word or line. Elevated doesn’t mean fancy words, it means using language in the best possible way.
Understanding poetry doesn’t come naturally, but not understanding the fullness of a poem doesn’t take for the pleasure a poem brings. The more poetry you read, the more you’ll understand.