How to read lyric poetry
Adler and Doren in their book, How to read a book explains the steps to read a lyric poetry to derive maximum out of them.
Poetry is a kind of spontaneous overflowing of the personality, which may be expressed in written words but may also take the form of physical action, or more or less musical sound, or even just a feeling. It can be made by anyone at any time, in a kind of solitary sensitivity session. It is words that are arranged in a more or less orderly and disciplined way.
The essence of a poem can never be found in its first line. We must read it aloud and all of it to comprehend its unity. The very act of speaking the words forces us to understand it better.
Your ear is offended by a misplaced emphasis that your eyes might miss. Moreover, the rhythm of the poem, and its rhymes, if it has them, will help you to understand by making you place the emphasis where it belongs.
However, there is no guarantee that we will understand a poem even after having a vast knowledge of its context. Any great lyric poem must be read over and over, and it deserves many return visits.
During vacations from a given poem, we may learn more about it than we realize.
Aristotle wrote, "Poetry is more philosophical than history." It means that poetry is more universal and more general.
A good poem is true in all times and places just like good history.
Do check out some of our lyric poetry here.
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