Reading Response #4

Select one of the assigned readings this week (either  Kooser  chapters or  Poetry Pack #1), and post a 500-word response below. Be sure to also make a comment on a classmate's response for full credit.

28 thoughts on “Reading Response #4

  1. Tometria Jackson

    To be straight-up, I don’t really get the appeal of poetry. It seems to be a medium that requires a lot of thought and contemplation; both of which take time. I don’t know that it’s possible to glance over a poem and have complete understanding. The writers of poetry seem to be challenging you to search your mind and soul so that you can connect with the emotion of the poem. Frankly, I have never wanted to work that hard to understand something I’m reading.

    Ted Kooser realizes that most people don’t have a need for poetry in their lives, and so he presents a realistic portrayal of anyone’s chance of having a career writing poems. Right from the start, he basically tells you that you won’t be able to make a living writing poetry. It simply isn’t that marketable outside of a few narrow fields, and so there must be a desire to write that goes beyond livelihood.

    A true poet writes because their motivation is deeper than a financial need. They seem to truly want to stir an emotional response in their readers. Poets want to have an impact on humanity by stirring their senses and challenging them to look at life in new ways. Kooser expresses the desire that the readers of poetry take something away from every poem they’ve read.

    To this end, Kooser cites Sven Birkerts essay in which he states, “…the writer and the reader are joined by the experience…” This necessitates the one element of writing that seems to be consistent in every genre; the number of revisions. Kooser said that a typical twenty-line poem of his will go through dozens of revisions before he feels it truly expresses what he was trying to convey.

    Kooser calls poetry communication, and in his chapter Writing for Others, he recommends envisioning the person who will read your work, and then write directly to them. I thought it was funny when he wrote that for most people, reading poetry is a dreadful experience! Maybe that’s why he said that only a tiny portion of the population seeks out poetry.

    I fall into the group that finds reading poetry a dreadful experience. I find poems dissatisfying because they capture a moment of life without providing the full story around it. You’re left wondering why did that happen? What happened next? How did it end? In chapter one, Kooser presents Walter de la Mare’s poem, The Listeners which instantly captured my interest. It paints an unfinished picture of the strength of a promise given, and the emptiness of an unexplained absence. Frustrating! You’re left wondering like Kooser, who still puzzles over that poem decades later.

    1. Benjamin Hayward

      I feel your pain. Anything that is subjective, be it religion, art, music, law or even poetry is frustrating for me. I don’t need to analyze why like a certain music, because of the beats per minuets, the contexts of the words, or even the tone of the notes. For me, “I just do.” is a sufficient answer. Please, please, please, just give me the answer.

    2. Lilia Lundquist

      I agree with you that poetry isn’t something that is meant to be easily understandable. But I find that because you do have to dig deep to find meaning the end goal is more rewarding. There is also the opportunity to make your own translation, I think this allows for a unique aesthetic.

    3. Brenden Couch

      I think if you get 5 people together to read 1 poem you will get 5 different interpretations. Those interpretations may share common elements but they will be their own.

    4. Brenden Couch

      I have to say that for a long time I hated poetry as with you I didn’t see the appeal but there came a time when I see the appeal but I definitely have to be in the mood to review it. If you think about it many of the most influential things in our lives are actually forms of poetry. Look at Lyrics

    5. Draven

      you don’t have to understand poetry, poetry is just a simple flow of words. these words don’t always have meaning, they normally are just the feelings of the author in word form.

  2. Benjamin Hayward

    While Ted Kooser’s The Poetry Home Repair Manual strikes home many answers to questions I have had about poetry, he also re-enforces my opinion that poetry is for liberals, so it is filed under Liberal Arts. Even going through this part of the study course, I will do what I need to do to get the best grade possible, use the tools we learn and apply them, but I will do it with loathing. Kooser even opens up with stating as fact that you do not write poetry to get rich. Indeed I would agree, as we have to buy his book where he writes about poetry, it is not a book solely of poems and his collected works.
    Part of my beef with poetry is the interpretation required to read it, to enjoy it. I have no need to search for meaning in poetry, in the words, meters, and poses assembled. The reason is most likely the same reason why I do not do bible study. I do not need to look for the meaning of life. I do not need to look for answers I have already found. The answer I found have satisfied me and made me feel completed. Indeed, Kooser hits on this subject really good when he goes into the rules of poetry.

    I look at different poems from poets I am required to study (it’s the only reason I ever look at or read poetry when it is a means to an end) and often wonder if the poet took his normal writing and broke it up into nonsensical writing, using “This is poetry!” as a reason for him to do so. Kooser answered my questions about this very situation. I do not like being forced to do anything, and for a poet to adjust his stanzas so they force me to look at a certain word, think about a certain word, makes me think that the poet is pretty bad. Not only must I interpret the work and their meaning, now I must also change my way of thinking so the poet can hammer his meaning home? Save me the trouble. Say what you mean. Mean what you say.

    What reason so I have to notice each stanza has 7 words, syllables, or stresses? Finding the alliterative patterns in a sonnet, or even sestina poems are a real thing really serves no use for me. I will deliver this to you: I do have an urge to write a sestina only for the challenge presented by Kooser in stating that they are challenging. Later I will find out just how hard these are, or if I can produce them like a sestina factory, churning one out every thirty minutes.

    Kooser does make a point about writing towards your audience. Is your audience her and now, or fifty years into the future. Is your intended audience requiring a technical explanation of how to do something, or students in a foreign land studying how to assemble poetry to American standards? I do believe because of my feelings towards liberalism and poetry in general is the reason I excel at technical writing. With dread and loathing feelings I face this session on poetry.

  3. Tometria Jackson

    Hey Benjamin, your first paragraph expresses my sentiments exactly! I think poetry is an acquired taste which needs to be cultivated in a person before they can truly appreciate it. I simply don’t want to invest the time and mental anguish to get there. Like you, I’ll grit my teeth and do my best with this portion of the course, and then sigh with relief when it’s over!

  4. Lilia Lundquist

    I really enjoyed the various poems in this week’s packet. It took me a few reads before I felt like I had even slightly broken the surface of their meanings. I still don’t feel as though I understand Terrance Hayes, “A House is not a Home.” I did notice the correlation between the three, in how they all seemed to be describing lost love or love that never was. My personal favorite was Louise Gluck’s “The Red Poppy,” I could feel the sorrow in the words that appeared to be carefully laced together. Along with sorrow the author seemed frustrated, as though they had given someone love only to get nothing in return. I have no way of knowing the author’s true intentions, but I was able to create a scenario in my head as to what they might have been experiencing during the period in which they wrote this piece. I can imagine she had ignored her better judgement and poured herself out to someone who was emotionally unavailable. I find that this is a relatable poem to many people who have experienced the loss of a first love or denial.
    Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, “You who never arrived,” created two backstories in my mind. I first thought it was describing a person in love but who merely observed their lover from afar, never coming in physical contact. Then I thought it might have religious connotations. Maybe the author was describing their relationship with God. They have been drowning in an overpowering love for a being that they can never hold or be with. I found that when I would go along with my first impression I could build so much more off the descriptions. “dizzy with your presence and startled…” I thought this was a good description of a person’s physical sense when they are hit with infatuation. The imagery used was what captivated me the most. I was envisioning a green countryside, filled with small cottage style homes each one with a garden. Wandering through them was an individual drunken off love with no clue how to sober up.
    Hayes’ poem almost hurt my head in a sense. There was so much going on, the first sentence gives the impression of a love that resulted in a rash decision. I understood the author felt disheartened, after his friend denied him romantically. But when he started talking about joining the African-American Acoustic and Audiological Accident Insurance Institute, (heck of a name), I was completely left in the dark. My first thought was that after having experienced such rejection and humiliation, he needed to escape. The institute was his way out, but then he introduced another character, a friend who recently passed away. I read this about five times and went back and forth with what I thought was going on. I still am confused but I think that’s what I enjoy about poetry, it’s like a workout for your brain. When you are too worn out to decipher it any longer you turn to your own translation. To me this makes for a way of creating your own story with another’s words.

    1. Kait

      Yes, I thought so too that the author had unrequited love on Louise Gluck’s The Red Poppy, the way the poppy asks people about having feelings, the poppy being shattered after opening up. It’s beautiful how the poppy can have two meanings to opening up. In “You Who Never Arrived” I also got the feeling of love, I have no idea if I am wrong, but I got the impression of somebody who went through a miscarriage from “who never arrived in my arms” and “I don’t even know what songs would please you”. To me, it was somebody who is going through the world after the miscarriage looking for places where they might see a glimpse of that lost child in themselves.
      In A House Is Not A Home, it is hard to think about whats going on. The protagonist and his friends seem to drink this one night while singing like an artist they all know, but the protagonist tries to kiss the wife’s husband, who the protagonist grew up with, while the protagonist has a certain love for specific sounds or music.

    2. Kelsey

      Poetry is definitely a workout for your brain! It’s true that the cool thing about poetry is that you can make up your own meaning, and maybe even make it into what you need to hear at the time. However, I feel like I need to know what the author was thinking, or what they were trying to tell us. I always assumed that authors had a clear message they are trying to get across, but after reading Kooser’s chapters, maybe there is no real message they are trying to send us, and we’re interpreting it all wrong anyways!

    3. Courtney Williamson

      I get what you mean its a workout for your brain. Some of them don’t make any sense, and I feel like I have to research them to figure out what they mean.

  5. Kait

    Reading The Poetry Home Repair Manual was refreshing, I got what Kooser was saying about poetry, how it describes the world around you to your readers, so they’ll will see it in a new way. I noticed the process of writing poetry and the writing process of personal essays are different because in Anne Lamott’s book, she says to learn to buckle down to your desk, get over your insecurities and write, but Kooser is saying you’ll learn to love sitting down at your desk to write poetry, also you might find a sense of serenity from doing so.
    I like the chapter Writing About Others because I like the idea that poems are too good to keep for yourself, that people out there will read your poem and feel that its really good, even if its just one person who thinks that it is then it would still be worth it.
    The way Kooser explains how most readers are faced with a feeling of dread when they approach a poem is how I would feel also when faced reading a complicated poem. My classmates would groan thinking about having to read poems in high school. I wouldn’t really be excited to read them, but now I’m open to how poems can have different meanings and are actually not as complicated as everyone makes them out to be. The idea of having an invisible person to write my poem to makes sense because it’ll be easier to think about what I would want that invisible person to know what I’m trying to say in my poem. I was also wondering if we can write poems to a specific person in mind other than writing to an invisible person?
    I really liked Kooser’s description of the presence we write in looking through a window onto the world, it really explains how present your presence can be in your poem. I think my presence will be more quiet about itself in my poems. The expression of no rules is also very nice, it made me feel ready to let the creative writing for poems start. Before reading this book, I thought I would have a hard time understanding the context of poems, but Kooser’s way of explaining it in his way makes my brain feel a lightbulb. The way he explains about writing in form or free writing and gives his examples for each of those was really interesting to read, you never know what your creation wants to be or you’ll never know where your creativity will take your poem, the possibilities are endless! I thought the rhymes in poems are very meaningful and give poems personality, also kind of fun. In Weismillers poem about the sea horse, I was able to tell there was a form of rhyming, but I couldn’t put my finger on it until the last stanza where he boldly rhymes white and died.
    The idea of writing from the soul is comforting, that you can just start writing and the form will show itself later in your revising. Reading the chapter about feelings made me scared to not have the right balance between “human heart” and sentimentality, I hope when I do write poems they won’t be too gushy or they won’t have feeling at all. In the last chapter, after reading Mr. Gerard Hopkins poem, I was confused trying to understand it (was it about a man amazed watching a bird?), but realized It was just an example from Kooser to show the cost-benefit works.

  6. Jess Young

    Depending on my mood, the author, and the interpretation, I can take or leave poetry. I used to really enjoy writing poetry. As a young adult it was a wonderful outlet for hormonally driven emotions I had never felt before. Now, I find poetry somewhat frustrating and occasionally gimmicky. The poetry pack for this week was a perfect example of some poetry being inspiring and though provoking, and others obnoxious.

    Of the three assigned poems, I found You Who Never Arrived by Rainer Maria Rilke was my favorite. In the first verse I thought she was describing a child she never gave birth to — a lost future that never existed and adventures that would never happen. In the second verse, it became clear that she was speaking of a romantic love that never came to pass. Rilke captures the spirit of longing for what she couldn’t have, whether it be because she was too afraid to approach it or never had the opportunity. I found her poetry to be moving and enjoyable.

    A House is Not a Home by Terrance Hayes on the other hand, was frustrating to read. I find that some works are written for the purpose of evoking a particular emotion in the reader, so it is possible that it was Hayes’ intention to make me annoyed. If so, bravo. This poem would probably be best delivered through speech — it reminded me of something I would hear in a Slam Poetry competition. Unfortunately, the manner in which it was delivered made it feel rambling and pointless.

    Finally, The Red Poppy by Louise Gluck was thought provoking and required me to read it several times. The title made me think of Memorial Day in which the red poppy is used as a symbol of remembrance for those who served. I have always considered that to be a striking visual; a field of red poppies or even a single red poppy amongst white. So to title the poem The Red Poppy and have phrases such as “I have a lord in heaven called the sun, and open for him, showing him the fire of my own heart, fire like his presence,” makes me think the author is speaking from the point of view of a flower. Gluck implies that humans were all poppies once, opening only once and speaking only after being shattered.

    All in all, I like poetry because it is mostly short and doesn’t require a lot of time to read. Phrases and key words tend to stick in my mind and I mull them over as I go about my daily business. Usually, after a while the poems move to the back of my mind and that is when I have my “aha” moments and realize what the poet was implying. I might be the only one in the class looking forward to this segment!

    1. Courtney Kisner

      I am also looking forward to this segment! I totally get what you mean when you say that some poetry can be very gimmicky. Thinking at first that the poem, “You Who Never Arrived” was about a miscarriage was a very creative take on it. It definitely works that way, and makes me wonder if that’s truly what she was writing about. It’s so interesting how everyone will relate to a poem in a different way.

  7. Courtney Kisner

    The poetry packet this week was heavy. After reading the poems the first time, back to back, I felt a sinking feeling. Each of the poems, individually and together, evoked that feeling in me. With poetry, as with any piece of art, the reader can take away what they want from it. “The Red Poppy” in the literal sense is [likely] about a personified poppy. But after reading it several times, I noticed how Louise contrasted two life forms. For the poppy, not being able to think simplifies things, but it also causes it remorse because it can’t control its innate impulses. It can’t control when or how to open. Once the poppy does open, it cannot close up again, and I love how Glick plays with this vulnerability and lack of control, which is present in all living things. By personifying the poppy, Glick illuminated those parts of us that submit to feelings, and parts of us that may be as simple as a poppy opening to the sun. To me, this poem represents vulnerability but also passion that is present in all living things. The use of the word “shattered” was a beautiful way to end the poem, as it seemed off key but striking at the same time. You don’t expect it, and you don’t expect yourself to be able to relate to this personified poppy.

    The poem, “You Who Never Arrived,” had a kind of listless or hollow presence. It’s like she had met someone and seen a future with them, imagined what life would be like by their side, but was never able to experience it and color in this outline she had created. I feel like Rilke is describing the feeling of someone who has just left, it’s as if the energy is still there and you can feel them, but you are too late.

    Lastly, the poem, “A House is Not a Home,” was far more concrete than the other two, but still clung onto that feeling of wanting something just out of reach. The poem is a bit messy, but in a good way. There seems to be a message in its style as well as in its words. The line I loved was, “when you have no music, everything becomes a form of music,” as if possibly a metaphor for love and company. The author seems to find beauty in everything, he wants to hear and appreciate, as if he is “stealing” moments from others. He is curious. Possibly curious about his sexuality, but mostly curious about the experiences of others. The title itself evokes the fact that a house is not necessarily a home–it may not make you feel the way a home should. It’s as if Hayes is telling us that he has everything most people want (he has a “house”), but on the inside, the feeling isn’t right–it’s lacking. His life is not a “home” yet. It seems as though maybe he is battling with coming out, and this was a point in history when it wasn’t socially accepted. He never fully makes that part clear, and that is probably the point–to keep parts hidden.

    1. Jess Young

      Your take on the personified Red Poppy made me go back and read the poem again! It’s funny how hearing someone else’s interpretation can change your own… Thanks!

  8. Kelsey

    Poetry has never been something that I seek out, and not a genre that I particularly like to read. I feel like it is a lot of work to understand what the author is trying to say. Perhaps that is part of the allure, because it is so open ended and the reader can adapt their own meaning of the work, but to me that feels unfinished. I’m open to interpretation but I also like to feel as if I have a concrete understanding of what I am reading or that is leading my thinking. Kooser says that writing poetry isn’t about getting out your thoughts about a topic, but more of telling a snippet of the story or trying to convey a feeling about a situation. Maybe that is why poetry is hard for me, I feel like I need more background information than just getting a snippet of a situation.
    I feel that the author of all the poems in the poetry pack are speaking from a broken, or very hurt state. All of the poems sound emotionally charged and I get the feeling of sadness from all of them. I think that “The Red Poppy” gives some power to people who feel broken, as the author says “I speak because I am shattered” in the last line. It’s admirable how in such a short poem, the author can speak to those who may feel the same and empower them with her words.
    The second poem could be written about a significant other that has been lost, but I think it is about the loss of a child. The line “I don’t even know what songs would please you” is heartbreaking because you have so much love for this tiny little person that you really know nothing about. You don’t know what they would have become or the things they would enjoy, yet you love them with every fiber of your being, so those are very hard emotions to navigate. She talks about how her beloved was all she ever longed for, and they almost stepped out to meet her. Again, this could be seen as a lover, but I think she is referring to longing of being a mother and having that title ripped away from her.
    The third poem was a little more tricky for me. I’m getting that the three people were friends, and the two men had been friends since childhood, but now one is married and the other is gay. The friend tried to kiss the married friend assuming or knowing that he is actually gay, and that caused both the friend and the wife to hit him. I am confused here, because I feel like I need more background information to understand! Were the two men involved romantically before? Why did he want to end their friendship? Why didn’t he just accept that other friend decided to marry a woman?
    Overall, I think that I find some poems really interesting and thought provoking, but I think I just enjoy the “full picture” more than a poem.

    1. Courtney Williamson

      I completely agree with your post. I’m not a big fan of poetry either and with the Poetry package I didn’t even get all of them, they didn’t make any sense!

    2. Angela Rodriguez

      I completely agree with what you are saying. I also have a hard time understanding poetry, because I don’t believe it can be open ended. The writer had written for their own personal interpretation.

  9. Courtney Williamson

    Poetry isn’t something I like to read anymore. I used to read Poetry all the time in High School, like the romantic ones. “The Red Poppy” – By Louise Gluck is the only one from the poetry pack that I actually got. I honestly didn’t get the other ones, they didn’t make any sense to me at all. This one was pretty much just telling the world how they felt, feeling human. Why is it called The Red Poppy? Is it referring to the sun they were talking about in the poem? It seems as though this poem was supposed to be about showing your emotions in a tense way.
    I used to read a lot of Shakesphere poetry back in the day. I think I tried to force myself into liking poetry, but that’s just my opinion, not a huge fan.

  10. Angela Rodriguez

    Searching for the meanings in poetry interests me, but I am not the best at it. After reading the poems from the poetry packets, I discovered a few moments where I was able to wrap my brain around the poem, but I was often ended the poem feeling confused and conflicted.
    After going over each of these poems numerous times, trying to find the meaning of each, I decided that I most enjoyed the poem, “You Who Never Arrived,” by Rainer Maria Rilke. I find that a lot people are so focused on looking for love, that they never find it. In this case, Rainer describes that her love was “lost from the start.” This shows that she never met her love and has just given up on looking for whoever it must be. I believe that this poem is saying that the love of her life just keeps walking past her, she is barely missing the moment to with them. They walk by one another on the streets but don’t know that they just missed the love of their life. I think that a lot of people would find this relatable as they search for their true love.
    I also enjoyed “A House is not a Home” my first time reading this poem, I wasn’t sure if I understood the poem itself. I still don’t believe I understand the message Hayes was trying to convey. I can say, that I liked how the poem transitioning within the poem. The poem started with Hayes recalling a memory. He was joking with a friend, calling him gay, and then he hugged his wife a little too long. After that, his friend punched his in the ear and his wife slapped him the other. This moment in his life is important, because he learned about the nature of sound. Throughout the poem, Hayes switches between talking about this moment in his life, Luther Vandross, and the job he wants at the African- America Acoustic and Audiological Accident Insurance Institute. The transitions between these different ideas, was well blended and interesting.
    Lastly, the poem, “The Red Poppy,” was the most confusing poem of all. It wasn’t until several reads that I even realized that we were reading from the poppy’s point of view. I realized this as the poppy’s Lord is the sun. The poppy is an interesting symbol. It is a way to honor the dead on Memorial Day. I want to say that this poem correlates with that symbol but, I don’t understand why a poppy would feel shattered for honoring the dead?

    1. nmfleming

      I often find it hard to figure out the meaning in poems and at times I am left with questions or confusion after reading poems. I too enjoyed You Who Never Arrived,” by Rainer Maria Rilke. Poetry is so weird because you interpreted this poem as Rainer Maria Rilke having lost her love, while I interpreted as Rainer Maria Rilke having someone who she had known for a long time coming back after being separated for a while., but I could be wrong.

  11. nmfleming

    I’ve never been a big fan of poetry, reading or writing it. I despise writing poetry because of all the rules that must to followed for it to be called poetry. I did write a poem last semester an I am poem it was a free verse poem and it could be about anything as long it described us. At first it was very stressful because there was so much to describe me and there were no guidelines but, in the end, I really liked the way it turned out. I don’t enjoy reading poetry because everyone has different interpretations of what the poet was trying to get a crossed. I don’t like gray areas in things, I like to know if I’m right or wrong. So, when it comes to reading and writing it, its all up for interpretation or how your feeling so there is no right or wrong way to do it which is why I think it frustrates me so much. However, it felt different when I was reading Rainer Maria Rilke’s “You Who Never Arrived.” While I was reading this poem, I had a picture of what the author was saying. In the first stanza I was picturing someone who had been gone for a long time, and when they came back home they were now a different person. So different that their family didn’t even know what songs would please them or what they would do next. In the second stanza it’s talking about seeing that person in a store or down the road. But in reality that person wasn’t really there, they were just picturing that person because they had been missed for so long.

  12. Delaney E Reece

    That are prompt for this week says to only respond to one of the assigned readings, but for me, they were so important together. I started by reading the poems first and thought they were nice but didn’t really understand or know how to take things further. after reading at least the first half of the book of signs for this week and the next few weeks I had a much better grasp on what I was looking for and how to feel about the poems.
    It took me multiple reads through each of the poems to reach a conclusion about what I thought they were about. But, I have such skepticism for the meanings of poems that I don’t feel like I’m right at all. “You Who Never Arrived” to me is a mother who has experienced a late-term miscarriage. Meaning that it is her baby who never arrived, and who she never got to have any of these beautiful imagined experiences with.
    I had a hard time placing meaning on the other two poems. I think there are things in “The Red Poppy” that I am missing from my own interpretation of it, in fact, I am at a loss for the end completely. The first part however I think describes what it feels like to be a flower. If human emotion and thoughts were in a way imposed upon the short life of a flower. What would be important, and who would be important before the petals fall away.
    Lastly, I struggled the most with “A House is Not a Home” Beyond the meaning -which I struggle to see beyond literal meanings in this piece- there is an emphasis on sounds as a whole. In the opening, we are told that the teller experienced sound in a new way, and then throughout and for the rest of the poem, there is a focus on finding unique ways to describe sounds. In particular, sounds that do not actually have a sound, things that are so specific and in a moment that there is no way to know the exact sound but you know it exists. The most noteworthy one I think is the “sound of church fires”. This and the other means of stretching sound into places it doesn’t belong left me imagining what a church fire would sound like because at that moment I knew it would sound different. It is important that it is a church fire and that this specification congers up a specific ominous sound to go with it.
    This week and reading all of these poems had me starting to write lists of things that I wanted to write poetry about. These poems are short stories in their own right, and although they might not have a beginning middle and an end they are a snapshot of a moment or have an idea. It is much easier to digest a poem than a whole short story, and in being short and sweet they’re required to have the most impact which I think is what is achieved in the three poems this week.

    1. Shana Waring

      I appreciate your analysis of sound in “A House is Not a Home” as it was not something I was able to identify. Putting that association into the text now brings more of the story full circle for me. it’s great you were able to take your own ideas away from the works this week. My mind was in a completely different space and I don’t think I have been able to do the same for myself. Leaving with the idea of simply having a topic and not necessarily the whole story like we read in our last book does make the task feel a little less daunting, however!

  13. Brenden Couch

    I have always known that poetry itself is an interesting and occasionally a futile endeavor either to read or to write. I think in the recent years a lot of poetry has lost the appeal it once had. I think my view in the failing of poetry has a lot to do with distractions of the modern age. I am not sure that this is the only century where poetry has to be taught, but I might agree that it is the only century where people are being told what poetry should make them think about. I can see evidence of this every day. Even the news, it no longer takes care to avoid opinions they are in fact flaunted all over. The views of every reporter are reported as if it is the only opinion to have. In schools, creative interpretation is graded and if isn’t in line with popular view the grade given is poor.

    In the introduction in Kooser’s book reflected his view of poetry as something of a style in dress, of attitude, and certainly of which books he carried about. I do not think that stereotypical poets dress any particular way. I am more familiar with the idea the poetry can be written by any person when they are so inspired. I do not agree that what someone intends has to be what is taught, interpretation is up to the reader not the writer. However, as a matter of personal interest the only poems I have a true interest in reading are those that rhyme or Iambic Pentameters. I myself have to have a muse to write them and that is rare for me.

  14. Shana Waring

    The poetry pack was quite dark and a bit depressing this week. I did find each to have a title which lead the mind in a certain direction. Not necessarily misleading, but maybe construing some of the information provided in the poem until a second read.

    “The Red Poppy” was a well written poem as it allowed descriptive aspects and enough room to open my mind to further analysis and questioning. The wording choice “showing him the fire of my own heart” drew a vibrant picture of the entire scene. The sun, the flower opening, and the deep color of the center of the flower being exposed.

    I found myself lost in the darkness of “You Who Never Arrived” needing to read lines multiple times. Even at its conclusion I was unable to identify exactly what void was. There was passion in the first section with the descriptions of how the loss had possibly engulfed the existence of the author before healing had begun. Upon one last review, I believe the author was expressing the longing and desire for love. Always looking in a cabin, on a road, etc. but never being able to find it. There was a longing for the touch, but nothing was there to wrap her arms around. The ending line made me feel like there was a passion for someone she may know, but the passion only goes one way. Like admiration much be done from a distance and in silence.

    The final poem was a story of feeling lost in a world where the author was once comfortable. A friendship, a relationship to be able to express emotions and carry conversation. A love for the ability to belong, all taken away in a moment. In a long embrace after brutal words. Commonalities often lead people to long lasting enjoyable relationships. When relationships change, commonalities begin to fall apart for those who feel a sense of loss.

    This poem also made me think this was a story of someone wanting to be another person. There was an imagination at work and the longing to work at this infamous “African-American
    Acoustic and Audiological Accident Insurance Institute” would only be to be a step closer to achieving the ability to have a different identity. Still a story of longing, but with a slightly different interpretation than my first read.

    Poetry has always been a difficult form of communication for me to interpret. I was glad to see the subject of how difficult of an industry it is to be a part of. There is such a mimic of work from poets who haven’t had the type of experience to be in the same category as much more veteran status poets. This type of work leaves readers such as myself far less attracted to poetry because of the amount of work it takes to really dive into the material. Also because there are so many aspects of interpretation that the work becomes almost instantly confusing and discouraging to thoroughly dissect.

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