New to poetry? Too shy to comment?
[Dedicatory note: This blog is dedicated to all poetry lovers, but it specially goes out to fellow Malaysians, particularly those who never had the chance to read poetry]
Well, I am actually a very, very late-comer to poetry, and very much a novice still. I was only introduced to poetry while at university, and though I had a very hard time, I gradually found myself falling in love with it. From my experience, reading poetry requires patience... lots of patience, but the rewards in the sheer delight one feels when a poem moves and speaks to you is just wonderfully magical.
My suggestion then, if you are new to poetry, is to take your time reading aloud the poem that has been posted. Read it a few times and don’t rush to make sense of what it is trying to say. Let the words, its sounds and its rhythm slowly flow over you. Gradually and slowly, a certain word, a particular phrase, image, idea or even sound might catch your attention. Linger with it and take your time thinking and feeling through what it suggests, evokes and conjures up. You will probably get a ‘sense’ of this poem now, and to delve deeper, go through the other parts of the poem, and something will emerge and come alive for you.
No doubt, it is not always the case that one ‘catches’ a poem. Many a times, I struggle for days over some difficult poem, and yet it doesn’t seem to yield anything. Sometimes, there is a missing ‘link’ or context that needs to be filled in to understand it; and at other times, it is the difficulty of the style and nature of the poem itself. So, no one should feel bad if they don’t ‘get’ a poem. Moreover, if one does go back to the same poem at a later time (weeks or months later), the poem might just suddenly come to light then. :)
The write-up we have is our way of sharing our enjoyment of poetry with you and among ourselves. It provides a guide of how the poem might be read, but it is by no means an authoritative or definitive understanding or interpretation of the poem. Please feel welcome to leave your thoughts and comments, participating in the discussion of the poem that is posted. Write anything that strikes you, whether it be a particular word, phrase, symbol etc…. We would love to hear (and learn) from you!