In the last post on What is Poetry?, I included Burton Raffel's definition for poetry as a "disciplined, compact verbal utterance, in some more or less musical mode, dealing with aspects of internal or external reality in some meaningful way." I think modern readers and writers of poetry have a hard time with the word "disciplined." Horace, the great Roman poet, writes, "Not gods, nor men, nor even booksellers have put up with poets being second-rate." Excellence doesn't simply occur; it is achieved. A poet must account for every jot and tittle in his poem. In poetry, there is no room for excess and overindulgence. Being concise takes discipline and hard work.