"A definition of poetry can only determine what poetry should be and not what poetry actually was and is; otherwise the most concise formula would be: Poetry is that which at some time and some place was thus named"
- Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
About this Quote
This quote by Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel suggests that a definition of poetry can only provide a general idea of what poetry should be, but it cannot accurately describe what poetry actually is. This is because poetry is a subjective art form that is constantly changing and evolving. It is shaped by the culture and context of the time and place in which it is created. Therefore, the most accurate definition of poetry is that it is whatever has been named as such at any given time and place. This quote highlights the importance of understanding the context of poetry in order to appreciate its true meaning. It also emphasizes the fact that poetry is an ever-changing art form that is constantly adapting to the changing times. Ultimately, this quote serves as a reminder that poetry is a complex and ever-evolving art form that cannot be defined by a single formula.