This article examines experience in the light of modern concepts of poetry. The classic modernists (like Friedrich, Culler, and Wellek) categorically refuse to admit the concept of experience into their critical discourse on account of its heterogeneous extemal or biographical nature. This radical view seems to conceal a number of inconsistencies and contradictions which result, as the authoress of the article tries to demonstrate from a failure to distinguish between mere experience and lived experience, a contrast highlighted in the Polish words 'doswiadczenie' vs. 'przezycie', or the German pairing 'Erfahrung' vs. 'Erlebnis'. This distinction is further explored on the basis of the analyses of Walter Benjamin and Philippe Lacue-Labarthe. Eventually, the authoress constructs a typology which gives due attention to the principal constitutive aspects of poetic experience, ie. it distinguishes four types of that experience, the epiphanic (rooted in language), the traumatic (rooted in the structures of memory), the autobiographical (which gives shape to the representation of the writer's 'I'), and the temporal (which controls the temporal aspect of the creative process).