Poem (Gk poiēma, ‘something made, created’. Thus, a work of art) A composition, a work of verse, which may be in rhyme (q.v.) or may be blank verse (q.v.) or a combination of the two. Or it may depend on having a fixed number of syllables, like the haiku (q.v.).
In the final analysis what makes a poem different from any other kind of composition is a species of magic, the secret to which lies in the way the words lean upon each other, are linked and interlocked in sense and rhythm, and thus elicit from each other’s syllables a kind of tune whose beat and melody varies subtly and which is different from that of prose (q.v.) – ‘the other harmony’. See also maker; poesis; poetry.