A poet is a person who writes poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as poets by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience. The work of a poet is essentially one of communication, either expressing ideas in a literal sense, such as writing about a specific event or place, or metaphorically. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary greatly in different cultures and time periods. Throughout each civilization and language, poets have used various styles that have changed through the course of literary history, resulting in a history of poets as diverse as the literature they have produced.