The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms - Ross Murfin 2018
Poetics: (1) The theory or principles of the nature of poetry or its composition. (2) Writing that expounds such theory or principles. Although the term may be used as a singular noun (critics sometimes speak of a “poetic”), this usage is uncommon. Today, poetics also refers to the aesthetic principles of any literary genre, including prose forms. The term has also been used occasionally to denote the study of versification.
EXAMPLES: Aristotle’s Poetics (c. 330 B.C.), Horace’s (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) Ars Poetica (Art of Poetry) (c. 20 B.C.), George Puttenham’s The Arte of English Poesie (1589), Sir Philip Sidney’s An Apology for Poetry (written c. 1579; published 1595), John Dryden’s An Essay of Dramatic Poesy (1668), Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “A Defence of Poetry” (1821). Twentieth-century examples include Dylan Thomas’s “Poetic Manifesto” (1951), Denise Levertov’s “Some Notes on Organic Form” (1965), and Charles Bernstein’s A Poetics (1992).