- the tragic
- the comic
- the sublime
The first mode tackles human suffering. The third on the list deals with notions of beauty and feelings of joy. Interestingly, the second mode gathers its material from both the fist and the third categories on the list. Often, good comedy is illuminated with a dark joy.
As the word suggests - the sublime is always subliminal - it's always just below the surface. Good poetry, even when it is tragic should possess something of the sublime. It's images should shine just below the threshold. In this way, the readership is touched by the eternal. Poetry, therefore has a special place in the culture for the transmission of both ideas and feelings.