What is Poetry?

By Elisa Gabbert

April is National Poetry Month, and this week we revive an old tradition by devoting an entire issue to the form. But first we ask a very basic question: What is poetry, anyway? There’s no simple answer, as our columnist Elisa Gabbert explains in an essay that probes and celebrates that very ambiguity. “The poem is a vessel,” she writes; “poetry is liquid.”

Illustration by Na Kim