In our everyday lives, we naturally strive for creativity. That is a fact and one does not need to define himself as an artist to actually create on a daily basis. After all, each of us creates his life, day by day and that is the ultimate creation in its essence.
Working on a project, directing a film, weaving fabric, navigating a boat – there are countless metaphors of living the life! There are some of us who are craftsmen – they create with their hands – cook a delicious meal and arrange the plate beautifully, or plant a garden, or paint pictures, or their personal style is an art movement in its own right.
Others create with their intellect – compose music, write books, play chess or create mobile apps. Even if it is only in making the perfect cup of tea, making a small ritual out of the habitual can give life a whole new perspective. The point is, that whether we recognise it or not, there is poetry in everything we do and we are the poets who do the magic every single day.
A poet is generally an inspired person, who has distinguished sensibility and insight for the world and a vivid imagination and creativity in his approach to life.
Our word of the day – poet – is a word of multiple origins with a quite interesting and confusing etymology.
The early roots of the word go to the Old Church Slavonic činu ‘act, deed, order’ and the Sanskrit cinoti ‘heaping up, piling up’ which stem from the Proto-Indo-European kwoiwo ’pile, stow, to gather.’
The Modern French word poète came to the scene in circa 12th century as a surname for people who produce material or intellectual products, as its etymon, the Latin poeta had a meaning of a ‘writer of verses,’ but also ‘a person of great skill,’ just like in ancient Greek it meant ‘maker, author, creator, composer.’
In the next two centuries from a surname, the word evolved to name writers and singers.
In the English language, the word firstly appeared in print in the late 14th century in the Wycliffite Bible relating to the canonical writer of poetry and verses.
Poet – description
And at that time the word poet started gradually replacing the Old English word scop, used for all sorts of writers or composers of works of literature and firstly recorded in print in the 9th century.
The first non-biblical record of the usage of the word poet comes from The Canterbury Tales, where in 1390, Geoffrey Chaucer in the Monk’s Tale expresses his appreciation for the Italian poet Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy.
Written record from the same period see the word poet used in a general sense to name any writer of literature, be it poetry, prose or another.
And by the early 19th century the word came to generally refer to a person working with creativity and imagination in any art form.
As in the translation of the Alphonse de Lamartine’s Travels in the East: “The poet,..—and by poet I mean whoever creates ideas in bronze, in stone, in prose, in words, or in rhymes—the poet stirs up only what is imperishable in nature and in the human heart. “