How to Enjoy Poetry More

Last week I brought up to my group of friends that it was poetry month. Upon that comment we began to discuss poetry and one of my friends pulled up a poem on his phone and read it out loud. It was fun and effective at celebrating poetry. We all sat down and spent about five to ten minutes talking about it and we all had fun and felt enriched afterwards.

 I'm not going to lie, this whole occasion really surprised me. But what it showed is that anyone at anytime can sit down and find a way to sincerely enjoy poetry.

Here are the tips I got out of my personal experience that align with poets.org's suggestions:

  1. Read aloud. My friend read a poem to us, and I asked him to read it again. Poetry is about language and how it sounds, so it makes sense that hearing it enriches its meaning. The Academy of American Poets says to read it out loud more than once, it's much easier to figure out what is going on.
  2. Discuss the poem. As soon as somebody in my group said the poem was about "death," it enlightened the meaning to me. Most things seem easier to get into when turned into a group event. 
  3. Accept dualism. Poems never carry one meaning, they are inherently ambiguous. While I saw my friend's poem as transitions we face in life, others in the group drew the conclusion that the poem was about death. Because there is no right answer, I can take peace in knowing that I was right and they were right.
 I only stated a few ways to enjoy poetry, but I am sure there's plenty more. Walt Whitman said, "To have great poets there must be great audiences too." May we all find joy in poetry reading and become the great audiences needed to create great poets.


What do you do to enjoy poetry?


-Hillary

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