Question: What the Heck is This Supposed to Be?

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Roberts Chapter 2

I'm better at close reading stories than poems. In fact, I'm really a big fan of poems (no offense to anyone who is). I like to be challenged to think, but I at least want to be entertained while doing it. Most poems just make me go, "HUH? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THIS?" I have to really think about it for a while before I get anything. Now some poems I really enjoy and can understand them right off the bat, it mostly depends on who the author is.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL237/2009/08/roberts_ch2/


9 Comments

Josie Rush said:

Yeah, definitely. I don't know a lot of people who are reading for leisure who'd like to spend horus puzzling over the meaning of haiku. Maybe I need to meet more dedicated people... Anyway, I recommend reading some Dorothy Parker. She's funny, easy to understand, but will make you think as well.

Aja Hannah said:

I'm taking the Writing of Poetry class to help me with analyzing poems. I feel the same way about them, but since Dr. Arnzen's class (where I found a glimmer of hope and understanding in the world of poems) I've been wanting to learn more.

It took almost 19 years for the meanings of poems and their structures to click, but they finally are and they are acutally really interesting. I prefer (because they are shorter) analyzing them than prose.

Sarah Durham said:

I couldn't have put it better myself. For me close reading a story is less difficult because the story isn't as hidden as it can be in most poems (at least the ones I've read).

Brooke Kuehn said:

Kayla, i couldn't agree more. Sometimes i wonder if some poets just clump crazy phrases together when they are bored so they can get a laugh when people try to interpret what they are trying to say. Hmm... not a bad idea

Kayla Lesko said:

Dorothy Parker rings a bell for some reason, I'll have to check her out. Thanks for the recommendation.

Kayla Lesko said:

I was thinking about taking that class.

Kayla Lesko said:

Emily Dickinson's poems usually leave me with a giant "?" I just can't really get into her peoms. Now Poe is someone who I have no problem reading.

Josie Rush said:

Every now and then, I'll read a Dickinson poem and understand it, but that's sort of the equivalent to staying up all night to see a meteor: a rare occurence, something to talk about with other people, but hardly worth losing sleep over.

Dave said:

Despite entering the conversation late, I definately agree with you all, as far as the difference in understanding poems and stories. I think what makes stories seem easier is the fact that even if you don't get them, there is still a story. One could read Orwell's "Animal Farm," and despite not getting any of the references to the Russian revolution and communism, still come away having enjoyed an amusing story about some farm animals. When reading poetry, if you don't get it you walk away feeling like you just wasted your time.

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