From time to time I read quotes that are described post-quote using a word that further describes or amplifies what the person did. Further, that word often follows an action that helps to define the person and the action (to avoid arguments about the accuracy of who-does-what I have excluded examples).

So, my question is this: how is a poet described when they do what they do? I am not asking for an opinion because I can fill in a word; I'd like to know, how does one describe the act or process of writing poetry? My initial thoughts are that she might "muse" which is close but that term is already taken by philosophers; he might "theorize" but that's too scientific; and while a poet definitely writes their words, you generally will not write, "the poet wrote" and expect that to convey the full meaning.

Alternately, a potential fill-in the blank that matches what I am attempting to write: "'Two roads diverged,'" the poet _____(ed)."

I'll continue to adjust the question as commentary suggests.

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    A poet can do many things. Write, opine, rhyme, compose, so it's my leaning to vote to close this question as too broad and/or opinion based. Oct 10, 2017 at 19:36
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    Clare: it is broad and you are correct that a poet can do many things ("suffer" was suggested by a friend of mine); I'll update to make it a bit more specific.
    – Sam
    Oct 10, 2017 at 19:44
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    Poets are writers. They do what other writers do, and 100+ verbs can go in that blank. Oct 10, 2017 at 20:58
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    "Quoth" does not mean quoted or restated. It simply means "said". Oct 11, 2017 at 1:55
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    I strongly disagree with your assumption about the speakers being teachers, writers or lawyers. Even if you choose to make those inferences, that does not mean that whoever wrote the sentence actually implied it.
    – Flater
    Oct 11, 2017 at 12:18

2 Answers 2


compose? scrawl? Wax may be the most poetry-specific, as in wax poetic or wax lyrical.

  • "...the poet waxed." hmmm...sounds more like something a snowboarder would do :)
    – Sam
    Oct 10, 2017 at 19:34
  • It is possible that some people misanalyse those expressions to take that meaning for wax, but its general meaning is "grow" (as in "wax and wane"). So those mean "grow (or 'become') poetic/lyrical".
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 16, 2017 at 16:05

Some writers use words of this kind in order to avoid using 'he said' all the time, while others prefer just to stick with 'said'. 'He instructed' could be used of anyone giving directions to another person; it doesn't imply that they are a professional 'instructor'. So you can use any verb you like for your poet.

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