By Herbert R. Kohl
Poetry has the facility to maneuver and problem the reader. it will probably accentuate or maybe have fun distress, be cynical or wry, or simply chortle outright in an outrageous manner. Poetry is as critical and antic as lifestyles, and but interpreting sleek poetry could be stunning to our feel of what language is or needs to be.In A Grain of Poetry, Herbert Kohl provides a sequence of guideposts to assist everybody learn poetry and notice these poems that tell and encourage them. In transparent, direct language, he covers the entire essential-but frequently unchartedpaths to realizing poetry: shape and constitution, line breaks and pauses, rhythm and melody, imagery, and recitation. Written by means of one of many country's major educators, A Grain of Poetry is a accomplished and obtainable consultant for all poets, scholars, and poetry fans.
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Extra resources for A Grain of Poetry: How to Read Contemporary Poems and Make Them A Part of Your Life
The line breaks and pauses here and in many contemporary poems shape the drama and argument of the work. They are not incidental to the language and the images but score them, orches trate them, and turn them into drama and living speech. Here's another example, this time by the poet June Jordan, of a poem in which the shaping of the lines and the breaking of the stanzas It's the Breaks 63 skin Neared of interest by a ruthless soap nails square and yellowc1ean from metal files sitting in a forty-year-old flush of solitude and prickling from the new white cotton blouse concealing nothing she had ever noticed even when she bathed and never hummed a bathtub tune nor knew one If you saw her square above the dirty mopped-on antiseptic floors before the rag-wiped table tops 64 A Grain of Poetrv little finger broad and stiff in heavy emulation of a cockney mannensm would you turn her treat into surprise observing happy birthday The poem ends with a question for the reader that begs the reader to go back and read again, to take in the story one more time and then feel the event and rethink it.
But I have found that in introducing new readers to contemporary poetry it is more helpful to focus on what could be called the central images in a poem. This helps develop the habit of reading poems rather than analyzing them. I don't want to marginalize the importance of analyzing the structure and nature of poems nor the complex criti cal task of sorting out poetic genres, judging excellence, and uncover ing trends and techniques. But what I do hope this book and this way of looking at poems can do is develop the habit of reading first and not having analysis get in the way of the development of a taste for poetry.
And his spirit sucks up the light. But he died in darkness darker than his soul and everything tumbled blindly with him dying down the stairs. We have no word on the killer, except he came back, from somewhere to do what he did. And shot only once into his victim's stare, and left him quickly when the blood ran out. We know the killer was skillful, quick, and silent, and that the victim probably knew him. Other than that, aside from the caked sourness of the dead man's expression, and the cool surprise in the fixture of his hands and fingers, we know nothing.