Relate the incident that is conveyed in the poem.

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In this poem, the speaker has been in a library, reading poetry. The speaker calls what he is doing "eating" poetry, rather than reading. This unusual turn of phrase captures our attention in a fresh way. It communicates that reading poetry for him is more than passively scanning his eyes...

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In this poem, the speaker has been in a library, reading poetry. The speaker calls what he is doing "eating" poetry, rather than reading. This unusual turn of phrase captures our attention in a fresh way. It communicates that reading poetry for him is more than passively scanning his eyes over the words in a verse. He is taking the words inside of him as if they are food, and they are nourishing his soul. He is one with the poems he is reading/eating—not just viewing them from a distance.

The speaker then makes literal the metaphor of eating poetry by imagining that the librarian is sad and upset that he ate the poems. He pretends he is a dog who is so happy at what he has eaten that he licks the librarian's hand, and she screams. However, what he means is that the librarian is frightened by the excitement and passion poetry raises in him. She draws away when he tries to communicate his enthusiasm to her. However, at the end of the poem, he is still joyful from his poetry reading, like a happy puppy.

The incident, in summary, is reading poetry in a library.

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