With what attitude should the reader approach poetry?  DETAILED ANSWERS

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cathibee | College Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Because poetry offers such a wide diversity of topics and emotions, the reader’s first attitude when approaching a reading in this art should be one of willingness to let the poet speak. In other words, when reading a poem, the reader should be able to let the poet’s words bring their own message, at least at first.

Subsequently, the reader should be willing to use his or her own experiences or knowledge to interpret the first impression of the poem. This could include any experience or poetry lessons gained during the reader’s lifetime.

Third, the reader should also be willing to study the poem in technical terms. This means that the reader should be willing to study elements such as meter and rhyme scheme to help make sense of the poem’s underlying meaning.

Finally, the reader must have an attitude of inherent flexibility, which should allow him or her to recognize that the poem might have more than one interpretation.  This is why it is a good idea to discuss poetry with others, where a collective interpretation can be obtained.



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