Poetry is traditionally a written art form (although there is also an ancient and modern poetry which relies mainly upon oral or pictorial representations) in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. The increased emphasis on the aesthetics of language and the deliberate use of features such as repetition, meter and w:rhyme, are what are commonly used to distinguish poetry from prose.
Poetry may use condensed form to convey an emotion or idea to the reader or listener, or it may use devices such as assonance, alliteration and repetition to achieve musical or incantatory effects. Furthermore, poems often make heavy use of imagery, word association, and musical qualities. Because of its reliance on "accidental" features of language and connotational meaning, poetry is notoriously difficult to translate. Similarly, poetry's use of nuance and symbolism can make it difficult to interpret a poem or can leave a poem open to multiple interpretations. Thus, there can rarely be a single definitive interpretation of a given poem. In fact perhaps a better definition is Carl Sandburg's: "Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits."
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.