Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/12172-Reading-Poetry.html
Poetry: September 13, 2023 Issue [#12172]

 This week: Reading Poetry
  Edited by: Lilli 🧿 ☕ Reviewing BBL
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

"Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history."
~ Plato

"You can find poetry in your everyday life, your memory, in what people say on the bus, in the news, or just what’s in your heart."
~ Carol Ann Duffy

"Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful."
~ Rita Dove

"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language."
~ W. H. Auden

Word from our sponsor

Amazon's Price: Price N/A

Letter from the editor

Have you ever read a poem and, despite a valiant effort, you just didn’t ‘get it’? Perhaps you found yourself buried under clauses and metaphors, lost without the light of meaning; almost as though the poem didn’t want you to understand or connect with it.

Learning how to read and understand poetry is like learning how to speak a new language sometimes. But don’t fret! You just need a few tools and a bit of practice. This week I’ll share a few tips that will (hopefully) get you reading, understanding, and even enjoying poetry.

1. Select a poem.
Any poem. It could be one you’d like to review or maybe from a book on your shelf. Maybe even a poem that has left you perplexed for a while.

2. What type of poem is it?
Poetry written in specific poetry forms will give you clues. For example, a sonnet is typically about love, while haiku is generally about nature, and a limerick is often funny. Get the idea?

3. Look for any unfamiliar words.
Scan through the poem and look for any words you may not know the meaning of. Take a few moments to look up those words. By doing this in advance, you won't be tripped up by these new words while you read the poem. Remember: meanings of words sometimes vary based on context. If the definition you read doesn’t make sense in the context of the poem, you might need to look at alternate meanings.

4. Punctuation
Look the poem over again, but this time look at the punctuation used. Find all the periods first. This will show you where the sentences stop. The number one thing that trips readers up when they first encounter Shakespeare isn’t necessarily the language. Shakespeare was fond of really looooong sentences! While many of his sonnets are the traditional length of 14 lines, they typically have one or two sentences. *Shock2*

Knowing where the sentences stop and start will help you figure out the poem’s units of meaning. A lot of poetry uses the sentence or the line as its unit of meaning (in other words, that’s the size of bite you need to take to understand each part of the poem), but Shakespeare and his contemporaries often use the clause as their unit of meaning. Seeing a poem made of a few long sentences should tell you to slow down while reading. Taking smaller bites of those poems will make them easier to understand.

5. Read the poem.
Sometimes reading aloud to yourself can help you understand it. Think the poem means as a whole. If you’re feeling ambitious, or if you’re dealing with a longer poem, ponder what you think each individual stanza means.

6. Google
If you're reading a poem by someone other than a WdC writer, Google the poem and look for sites that offer explanations of the meaning of the poem. once you find a site, compare your interpretation of the poem to how the site interpreters understood it.

If your understanding of the poem was the same, KUDOS to you! If it wasn't, take a closer look at some of the phrases and see where your interpretations align. But hey, here's a little secret, sometimes there’s more than one correct interpretation for a poem.

If you still can't seem to get a grasp of the poem's meaning, talk with a friend or fellow writer about it. Sometimes seeing it through someone else's eyes may help give a new perspective.

*Writer* *Flowerw* *Writer* *Flowerw* *Writer* *Flowerw* *Writer* *Flowerw*

Ok! Now that you have some strategies to make reading poetry a tad easier, it’s time to flex your muscles. Give these steps a try and let me know in the comments below if they helped.

Do you have some tips to share that may help others understand poetry, then share those in the comments too!

Editor's Picks

The Scottish Highlander  (13+)
A bit like Braveheart, love, battle, sadness.
#2304289 by The Crossing ...

Perspectives on Life  (E)
A Collab Poem for Poetry Pals with AmyJo
#2304275 by Jay O'Toole

The Northern Town  (13+)
A poem about a northern town.
#2304116 by B. T. Lane

Sparkle & Crackle  (E)
Enjoying a hypnotic flame.
#2304084 by Krista

Square Rose  (E)
Freedom vs dependency and independence
#2304048 by Val

Many Triumphs  (E)
There's always good in the bad.
#2303854 by green has words

Flight of the Dairy Queens  (E)
Twenty-three cows have gone missing.
#2303776 by Beholden

Blinded by the Light  (E)
A conversion poem [The Writer's Cramp 9-1-23]
#2303710 by Soldier_🎶_Mike

It's hard to be a Saint in the City  (13+)
A poem about a musician written for Writer's Cramp
#2303703 by Jellyfish

Don't forget to nominate your favorites...
Quill Nomination Form 2023  (E)
Nominate someone for a Quill!
#2145930 by Lilli 🧿 ☕ Reviewing BBL

Submit an item for consideration in this newsletter!

Word from Writing.Com

Have an opinion on what you've read here today? Then send the Editor feedback! Find an item that you think would be perfect for showcasing here? Submit it for consideration in the newsletter!

Don't forget to support our sponsor!

Product Type: Toys & Games
Amazon's Price: Price N/A

Ask & Answer

Comments received from my last poetry newsletter, "Understanding Poetry Forms:

Joseph wrote:


You and Me Never can it be
Even so I will set for you to shine
I will chase you’ll run

Eons’ more our love will endure
Carved in stone its known for sure
You and Me Never can it be

Glimpses’ of your glorious glow
Your beauty continues to grow
I chase yet you run

Wisdom from all the ages agree
Still Glances of you I yearn to see
You and Me Never can it be

The reason for my world to be
Longing the next eclipse may be the one
I chase still you run

Fathom the chase not trying to win
To catch surely would mean the end
You and Me Never can it be
I’ll always chase you see

Monty wrote:

"ODE TO THE POET was picked up and published. Have enjoyed reading most all types of poetry and have written most of my life.

*Bullet* *Bullet* *Bullet* Don't Be Shy! Write Into This Newsletter! *Bullet* *Bullet* *Bullet*

This form allows you to submit an item on Writing.Com and feedback, comments or questions to the Writing.Com Newsletter Editors. In some cases, due to the volume of submissions we receive, please understand that all feedback and submissions may not be responded to or listed in a newsletter. Thank you, in advance, for any feedback you can provide!
Writing.Com Item ID To Highlight (Optional):

Send a comment or question to the editor!
Limited to 2,500 characters.
Word from our sponsor

Removal Instructions

To stop receiving this newsletter, click here for your newsletter subscription list. Simply uncheck the box next to any newsletter(s) you wish to cancel and then click to "Submit Changes". You can edit your subscriptions at any time.

Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/12172-Reading-Poetry.html