Herbert R. Kohl's A Grain of Poetry: How to Read Contemporary Poems and Make PDF

By Herbert R. Kohl

Poetry has the facility to maneuver and problem the reader. it might accentuate or maybe have fun distress, be cynical or wry, or simply snigger outright in an outrageous method. Poetry is as severe and antic as existence, and but examining sleek poetry will be surprising to our experience of what language is or needs to be.In A Grain of Poetry, Herbert Kohl offers a chain of guideposts to aid every person learn poetry and notice these poems that tell and encourage them. In transparent, direct language, he covers the entire essential-but usually unchartedpaths to knowing poetry: shape and constitution, line breaks and pauses, rhythm and melody, imagery, and recitation. Written through one of many country's top educators, A Grain of Poetry is a accomplished and obtainable consultant for all poets, scholars, and poetry fanatics.

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Extra info for A Grain of Poetry: How to Read Contemporary Poems and Make Them A Part of Your Life

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On a third reading the poem takes its full shape and sound and can be read without thought to the breaks but with an expression of the content and passion the poet has shaped into the work. The melody in "The Babies: I" is not repetitious. It is one continuous line varied in tone, emotion, and inflection. This is a poem to be read as a whole, to be seen and understood as a whole. The melody is like the plaintive line of mourning that one finds in many funeral ceremonies. Ii " )1 ,;! It is not just the lines that shape this melody, but the sounds of the words.

If you can't be free, be a mystery. " The image of the caged bird does not prepare the reader for the particular nature or language of the poem, or for the way in which the poet relates to her subject. But I find that it helps frame the whole, and that while reading the poem I keep an image of the bird and its song and of Billie Holiday and her voice playing back and forth in my imagination, giving the poem a sound and density that make it memorable. This complex interplay of image and lan­ guage heightens attention, not just to the poem itself, but to caged women and manufactured love.

It is as if the poet were providing the reader not merely with a written text, but with a musical score to decipher, read once, read again as the meaning sinks in, and then sing or read aloud. The rereading of a poem is part of the act of reading it and perhaps essential to internalizing and coming to love it. However, I admit that not all poems bear up upon rereading, nor do all of them tempt a second, much less a third and fourth read­ ing. It is a matter of taste and emotion, of what moves you enough to make the effort to mine a poem for the riches it might contain.

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