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A poem is an arrangement of words containing meaning and musicality. Most poems take the form of a series of lines separated into groups called stanzas. A poem can be rhyming or nonrhyming, with a regular meter or a free flow of polyrhythms. There is debate over how a poem should be defined, but there is little doubt about its ability to set a mood.

A poem is identifiable by its literary and musical elements. For example, metaphor and alliteration are common in many poems. Another hallmark of a poem is its brevity, or ability to say much in few words. This requires layered meaning, as in the use of symbolism. A common example of symbolism is the bald eagle, which is a bird, but in the United States also represents the nation as a whole. A poem need not rhyme or contain a consistent meter to qualify as such, but those elements are also common to many poems.

The hallmark of a poem is that it says much in few words. It can exist within a framework of prose, or it can exist on its own. Its chief function is to lend insight, poking its nose into unseen corners, sniffing out signs of life where none were detected before. A poem can evoke awe, inspire action or provide food for thought. It can provide an amusing escape (as in humor), or it can command solemnity (as in religious hymns). A poem can also function as an end unto itself.
The benefits of a poem often begin where those of prose leave off. A poem can stretch the rules of grammar a bit more, using inventive line breaks or punctuation to accentuate a phrase. Poetry emphasizes the musical use of words for their own sake in addition to providing meaning and context. Brevity is another notable benefit of poetry.

Kannada raaga is the ultimate destination for a collection of famous, meaningful and inspirational poems written by great Kannada poets. It also includes the biography of each poet in the Poets page. Links to download mp3 of each poem if available, also can be found.

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