The notion of poetry I have in mind relates not so much to its formal properties, but to the realms of experience or types of consciousness it involves.

When we look at the texts assembled in the KN, we find that the concern with the character of the Buddha, and in a broader sense with Buddhist holy men and women, is a central, constitutive interest of the collection.

The employment of metaphor points us in aesthetic directions, suggesting meanings that emphasize experience, rather than theory.

This article discusses the antiquity of the Aṭṭhakavagga of the Suttanipāta seeing it not as an attempt to lay out the earliest Buddhist teachings, but instead as an example of early Buddhist poetry meant mainly to inspire our faith in the goal.