On Reading Poems

Sometimes I’m reminded that not everybody comes to poems on their own, and that poems can be confusing without a framework of how to go about reading and enjoying them. Here’s how I’ve come to read poems: a poem is a stand of woods you’d like to walk through. Usually there is a trailhead, start there. Walk through the woods. Do you wonder what the woods means as you walk through? Or do you walk, occasionally stopping to look at something in particular, a view, or a particular tree? Do you listen as the wind moves the leaves, and swaying trees creak and rub against one another? Do you wonder what those sounds mean? Or do you enjoy the sounds and the smells and the views and the associations they bring to you, and the thoughts accompanying you on your walk through the woods? Don’t the woods really pull out of you that which you find no other way, and that’s why you go on a walk through the woods? For the feeling you take when you exit the woods. Reading a poem is a walk through the woods.

Published by pedalpoet

Poet, writer, and songwriter living in Seattle, WA

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