How is phenomenological interpretation done?Please give poems that use this approach.  

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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A text can be studied phenomenologically by looking at the experience of a character or narrator or poetic speaker finds them self in and relating it to experience that might be the phenomenon precipitating text or reaction recorded in the text. To give an example, a narrator who has been victimized in the past would typically be shy of environments which are similar. A common way to bring forth phenomenology is to define an object by a previous experience with it. If a narrator has been in a car accident, a fear of driving or riding in a car could form. The character, then, would consciously make a decision about the object (a car) and their feelings about it.

To example a poem where phenomenological interpretation can be used, one can examine the poem "Surgeons must be very careful" by Emily Dickinson.

Surgeons must be very careful

When they take the knife!

Underneath their fine incisions

Stirs the culprit, - Life.

While this poem is very short, it can be simplistically used to describe phenomenological interpretation. The speaker in the poem has had a previous experience with a surgeon who has not been careful with the knife. (This could be during a surgery for the speaker or another person that the speaker knew/ knows/ or heard of.) The anxiety of the surgeon's knife exists because of past eexperience with a surgery gone bad. The poem lends itself as a warning to both surgeons and those who are going to go under the knife.

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