It has occurred to me today that reading poetry is a lost art. This comes to my mind as I’ve been happening to help my brother-in-law with an assignment he’s been writing. This assignment is based on poetry he’s read. So, for the student out there who is still trying to figure out that english assignment and has to read poetry here are some quick tips and tricks.
- Read slowly – The beauty of poetry is what the poet is trying to say and how they are trying to say it. Poets use fewer words but more imagery to get their point across, which is why it’s so hard to understand. Read it slowly and go line-by-line. Sometimes when you read a line – take a min to just think about it before chewing on the next one.
- Read it aloud by reading it aloud it will 1) force you to read more slowly and 2) force your brain to really process what you are absorbing. Sometimes even when you read slowly, your brain isn’t able to compute the line of poetry the same way it would when you read it aloud.
- Think about when the poet was writing – Many poets write about things that are unknown to us. If you are reading something written by Emily Dickenson make sure you keep in mind the time period she was writing in. It will make a difference in the interpretation. Many people who write – write from experience. Their experiences as men/women, differences in race, political standing, social/economical class color their writing and if you can read what they write while understanding where they are coming from – it will make it easier to understand (that doesn’t just apply to poetry – fyi).
Like I said – these are just a few tips and tricks that I have picked up via reading some poetry. Simply a few things that will help the “non-avid” poetry reader when it comes time to do that review. Take your time, read aloud, and do some research on the writer. It will all pay off in the end. I would recommend trying with “Anger” by Yusef Komunyakaa.
This is a little off the beaten path for me. I don’t normally do book reviews but since I’ve been on break for school I decided to do a book review for several of my favorite Christian Fiction books. Top 3:
- Mark of the Lion by Francine Rivers – This is a 3 book series starting with A Voice In the Wind. It is probably number one on my list for several reasons. It follows a young christian woman, of jewish heritage, named Hadassah through her life journey. Really it’s from her young adult life through adulthood (first two books) and then follows a gladiator in the 3rd book. You guessed it – it’s set in Ancient Rome, several years after Christ’s resurrection and ascension into heaven. I can safely say that while this book will draw you in with its action, imagery, and the trials faced by the protagonist, it will also inspire hope. I’m never exactly sure why but I always feel an over-whelming amount of hope when I read this book. Maybe it’s because Hadassah faces so many trials and never loses hope that it reminds me that no matter how bleak things may look – God always has a plan and he is always in control. This book is a great reminder of God’s enduring love and how all things come together for his glory.
- Left Behind series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins – This one is a 16 book series. I have not read all of them, but about 1/2 of them I have read. They are great books if you are looking for a great read, long series, or to have an idea of what will be coming in the future for the world (and yes I really do believe it). While there is room for interpretation in what The Bible says about the future I do believe that it comes very close. I will also say it is very refreshing to find a book series that is both politically, religiously, and emotionally interesting without any indecency. That being said – the premise is that the books follow several characters throughout the years of the following the rapture. If anyone has seen the movie made by Nicolas Cage – the movie pales in comparison. I would highly recommed these books as they are both enlightening and informative, while being interesting reads.
- Texas Roads (A Miller’s Creek Novel) by Cathy Bryant- The series is a 7 book series. I have to disclaim that I have not read all of them. The first one I just finished this morning and I can safely say that it was one of the best books I have read in a long time. It was full of trials and hope. Similar to the Mark of the Lion series it was encouraging to read. I also really liked it because it was set in a timeframe that could be easily identified as the current year. Most of the books that are faith-based seem to be written in a past time period. I would recommend this book highly. It follows Dani, a young woman from Dallas, TX on her journey to find her “home”. One of the perks to these books is that they are free on kindles! Kudos to Cathy!!!
I have more books that I have read but these are simply my top 3 books as it stands for Christian Fiction. I would love to have some suggestions about more. The reason I love these books so much is that they fill me with hope and remind me of Gods power. yes, I do realize that they are fiction but sometimes we need a little reminder of what he is capable of.