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A Grain of Poetry: How to Read Contemporary Poems and Make by Herbert R. Kohl

By Herbert R. Kohl

Poetry has the facility to maneuver and problem the reader. it may accentuate or maybe have fun distress, be cynical or wry, or simply snicker outright in an outrageous means. Poetry is as critical and antic as existence, and but studying glossy poetry should be stunning to our experience of what language is or needs to be.In A Grain of Poetry, Herbert Kohl provides a sequence of guideposts to assist all people learn poetry and realize 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 through one of many country's best educators, A Grain of Poetry is a entire and available advisor for all poets, scholars, and poetry fanatics.

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Additional resources for A Grain of Poetry: How to Read Contemporary Poems and Make Them A Part of Your Life

Example text

Readers don't need to be poets or critics, although of course we can choose to experiment with criticism or writing poems. XI How terribly shredded and lonely the water went as it cried out and held splinters of moonlight, and its life raced powerfully on! That night, we bowed, shadowed our eyes, and followed-all the way down­ one, slow, helpless, bumping stone. In line four, there are "big stones," which makes all the differ­ ence. Big stones bumping along the bottom of a river are not the same as stones bumping along it.

I find that this helps develop not only an understanding of the poem but also an under­ standing of my own voice and ways of clustering sounds and shap­ ing my ideas and feelings in language. Another poem that centers on babies, this one by Janice Mirikitani, has a very different melodic and rhythmic structure, and a very different sense of bitterness and pain. Read it, silently at first, then out loud. I'll save my comments until after you have a chance to enter into the poem. Cry For the ten infants buried at Tule ulke who died during the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWIJ and to those artists and activists in the Northwest Asian Communities who in 1990 erected new graves to keep their memory alive.

Infants? buried in concentration camps. Something withers starved of justice. There is no meat or fish or milk rationed to rutabagas and potatoes, infirmaries smell of death. My breasts are dried and fiat like this cracked earth beneath the barracks. Rhythm and Melody 77 The hot wind creeps into my womb and takes your breath. The hot, barren desert wind slices your hearts severs your throats before you could cry or blossom. Cry We will carry you beyond these gates and barbed wire that encage us.

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