Prayer and Poetry

My title does it, but why do I put poetry and prayer together? Are they similar? How so? Very good questions. And by the way, can you define what poetry is, or what a poem is? Or for that matter, what constitutes a prayer? We all think we can recognize them when we see them, but we can’t really come up with a formal definition.

Today I would like to present a few rhetorical structures, with examples, that are common to prayers and poems and that might help us appreciate both a bit more.

Peter Conroy is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois-Chicago where he taught French language and literature for 34 years, and served two terms as department chairman. He has written four books of literary criticism, translated another about French history, published over 40 articles in professional journals, and has presented many papers at scholarly conferences in the US and Europe.