Understanding Poetry.

Essay by homedoggy2University, Bachelor's November 2003

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Reading poetry was once viewed as a religious act, poets were perceived with the same respect as magicians and priests. It was also believed that poems could only be written with supernatural assistance. (Literature p.739) Today, poetry is often overlooked or not enjoyed to the fullest extent due to the level of difficulty understanding it. Poetry is not as important to today's society, and therefore the skills necessary to gain the fullest benefit from it are not taught, as they should be. A single poem can give different meanings to different readers; it can reach deep within the reader and give intrinsic values, and can convey emotions not seen on the surface. Therefore it is a very important, fulfilling part of literature that we need to gain the skills necessary to appreciate it, as we should.

When learning to read poetry, there are six steps to remember that make comprehension easier.

Knowing what kind of poetry you are reading and familiarizing yourself with some of the types of poetry make for more enjoyable reading. In poetry there is often a voice, when you know how to listen for the voice and what element of voice you are looking for, the flow of reading goes smoother. There are some keys to pick up on when reading that will help the reader to better understand the meaning of the poem. This essay will discuss these points in detail, and hopefully leave the reader with a greater feel of poetry.

There are six steps to keep in mind when you are trying to read a poem that will make the meaning clearer and understanding easier. (Literature p.742-43)

ØRead straight through it. Read straight through the poem without dwelling or trying to gain any meaning.

ØReread. Reread the poem and try to make sense...