As a poet, it's sometimes good to not know how you feel. "Nameless" emotions are often where great poems begin. Famous poems like "Kubla Khan," "The Chariot," or "The Road Not Taken" continue to defy emotional straightjacketing and -- without sacrificing meaning -- continue to lead readers to fresh emotional experiences for which there are no simple quantitative terms, but rather libraries full of analysis.
One of my favorite poets, Hart Crane, wrote a powerful essay on the theory of poetry called "General Aims and Theories." Crane was only in his twenties when he wrote the essay and it was in response to criticisms by Harriet Monroe. Basically, what Crane said was: a great poem can create a new word. Or, more specifically, it is as if a (successful) poem created a new word. A "word" that only that poem can capture, because it represents an emotional state for which we have no literal word.
Two things I'd like you to take away from this. The first is that some poems, not all, are best off in creating a new "words", while others are best off celebrating existing "words." The second is that, yes, human beings have that many emotions. More than there are grains of sand in the world, or stars in the sky. We may fixate on the 6-8 basic colors, but we have an entire crayon box (the size of the universe) to color with.
If you want to read a great series of poems that deal square-on with he search for a new poetic word, try reading Plath's "Bee Sequence" (click her picture above). What you'll see here is a poet using everything she has to try to understand who she is as an artist. Because Plath was a mystic, it was extremely difficult to find words, or even imagery to convey what she was going through. Like Nina, in Black Swan, she is transforming; she is becoming the Bee Queen.
Poetry can lead you to the deepest parts of yourself and the deepest emotions that can be experienced. You have to be careful with intense emotions, but you can't write truly remarkable poetry without going into emotional places past existing "words."
Poems Written: 295
Submission Tally: 47
Rejections: 17 (10 tiered)
Poem written today: "Plain Poem"