How To Understand Poetry

Understanding Poetry
Poetry of Mother Nature

 

I don’t remember when I started liking poetry. Probably I was born with it or was fascinated by the lyrics of Mother Nature.

When I walk down my memory lane, one image looms large and that is how much effort one of our English professors used to put into explaining the poetry of Tennyson and Wordsworth. While the latter was relatively easier to understand, the former much more complex and obviously we didn’t like the one who was more challenging.

The real challenges came my way when ‘Paradise Lost,’ an epic poem by John Milton was not taught in the class (or if it was, I must be mentally absent) and even when it was discussed, it didn’t evoke any interest!

While prose can be an effortless reading unless it is stream of consciousness writing, poetry can become quite boring if we are not familiar with its techniques and tones.

Despite the tests and trails, I continued to like poetry and slowly discovered that it is a genre par excellence. It can say a lot through literary techniques, which only an admirer of Literature can understand. I still struggle to understand some subtle messages conveyed through simple words.

I have to read my blogger friend Bela’s poems thrice to understand the undertones that appear enigmatic initially. They also inspire ideas to compose another poem.

Ambiguous ideas in a poem provide a food for thought and chisel your creative skills.

Who has the time and the inclination to read and re-read a poem in this fast-paced world? Only poetry lovers do!

Another lovely friend Sue, who is a poet and a prolific blogger of amazing eminence inspires with her poetry.

Most of my blogger friends are elaborative when they share their reflections on my post. Whenever I post a poem, I get a lukewarm response and I often wonder – is it because of poetry?

Quickly my mind hurtles back, my interactions with teenagers get refreshed, all their expressions, yawns and glances stand before me, bringing those lovely memories of hate-love relationship we had with poetry…when we would try to convince each other why poetry is good or bad and how we could understand it better.

I am not an expert but I have figured out a few ways to understand poetry.Understanding Poetry

How to understand a poem:

All readers have their own approach and interpretation but how imagery is used defines a poem. Can you read between those special words to fathom their depth?

It is better to read slowly. Stop and ponder over at the word that seems simple but abstruse.

“If you’re curious, there is always something new to be discovered in the backdrop of your daily life,” says Roy T. Bennett. Be curious. Inquisitiveness and interest are two important elements that lead to our understanding of a poem.

Poetry can’t be scanned and understood like prose as the former demands concentration, attention and gentle reading.

If you read a poem in a hurry, you would miss the real meaning. Many times words are used as metaphors.

You have to be familiar with most common literary techniques like simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, alliteration and assonance.

Imaginative flights of poets can’t be predicted, we have to fly with them to figure out their proficiencies.

Critical analysis of a poem reveals the nuances of its theme, undertones and other signals, which remain hidden to a scanner.

Some poems are ambiguous. Probably they relate to the poet’s past or buried memory, which he wouldn’t like to reveal yet, give a vent to his emotions through writing.

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” – Leonard Cohen

Do you like poetry? Do you read a poem slowly?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

 

 

The Escape From #Deep

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As I stumbled and slipped
I was almost blinded
With red light all around me
My heart sank
Am I in the red area?

I moved forward furtively
Not a sound… no soul stirred around me!
Red hands, full of blood
Slippery surface, reeking repugnantly
Oh! How will I go home?

What will I tell my friends?
I tried to run but couldn’t lift a foot
Rooted to red ground… red feet! Oh lord!
An unknown prayer, a sinking heart…
I tried to be calm

Attracted by a shining heart
I dragged myself closer
As I touched the heart, it opened like a door
Whoa! I entered a new world
Something different…some new vibes

‘Welcome grandma’, a sweet sound
Caught my attention
How did you come here, young man?
‘Thanks for telling me
To live through my heart, granny’

We love this luminous land
Brightened by consonance
Of notions, of race, of color, of rainbows
We respect differences, we uphold
Love, peace and contentment

Strange serenity draped me
Is it utopia?
‘No grandma, we created this
NEW WORLD.’
© Balroop Singh

Thanks to Sue Vincent for another inspiring Deep #writephoto photo prompt.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more poems.

If you have liked this poem, please share it at your favorite social networks.
Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

How Much Of Laughter?

Laughter

Laughter – a spontaneous overflow of fun, a stress reliever, a mood changer, a health therapist…not only provides a cushion to our emotional hurts but also helps us in dealing with the jolts of life effectively.

I have written about laughter therapy to remain emotionally healthy yet it is not listed under the most popular posts!

Why do we forget our laughter skills, as we grow older and resilient?

Humor is the most difficult genre for writers and most of the jokes degenerate below a decent level. That’s why yoga instructors have been promoting self-laughter. Probably Laughter Shows add hilarity sounds for the same purpose!

“The burden of the self is lightened when I laugh at myself,” observed Rabindranath Tagore.

I have been told many times to laugh softly but I always dismiss that advice…how can you decide how much to laugh? Isn’t that weird? I wonder how people can close their mouth and laugh!

I have never learnt to laugh gently as I didn’t want to. The real power and therapeutic effect of laughter lies in what comes from our heart, without any ifs and buts.

I have faced many stern looks of my hubby but did I ever care?

When I laugh…it just goes out loud and clear! Whenever there was a loud laughter in our staff room, our Principal assumed one of those must be me! Once she heard that and came to reprimand but I didn’t happen to be there, luckily! So much for my reputation!

Another scenario, which is embedded in my memory is laughing in libraries, when, as youngsters, we had to face the stern eyes of the librarian and ran out to laugh…such is the power of spontaneous laughter!

This Book Makes Me Laugh Like My Grandchildren!IMG_3861

This book came as a birthday gift for my granddaughter, Athena but nobody paid any attention to it as it said, “Take away the A.” A book about alphabets is considered to be useless in the modern times when alphabets are available in colorful forms, puzzles and each toy sings an alphabet song!

It also appeared to be weird because it had sentences on one page, which could be of no interest to a child of two as most of the books at this stage are pictorial with little stories or rhymes.

The book sat at the bookshelf till one day I decided to read it for my fun-loving grandson who just likes to open books, collects all of them around him and gets distracted within a moment.

This grandma is different, I told myself! No such tricks with me! When nobody takes interest in a book, I read it to myself to draw their attention and most of the times it works. Sometimes I change my voice to convey the emotion and attract their response.

This book caught their attention beyond description! The innovative style of the author is incredibly remarkable.

Each letter is mentioned in such a manner that no child can miss the fun that this book stimulates.

When you take away the ‘A’, BEAST is BEST!

Without the ‘B’, BRIDE goes for a RIDE!

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This book plays with letters in a creative manner to take away one alphabet and create a new word.

It doesn’t just highlight the ABCs but also introduces words in an interesting and humorous manner.Chair has hair!

Without the ‘C’, CHAIR has HAIR!

‘JAM I AM’ is equally funny.IMG_3870

Once we discovered the fun, it became our favorite book and is now read everyday.

When you take away the L, PLANTS wear PANTS.

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The moment we reach this page, we all break into peals of laughter.

We must have read it a hundred times but the fun never seems to wane.

Children don’t wait for humor to laugh…they create their own funny situations and even inspire us to laugh heartily…that is why they are called the flowers of our garden, always lending warmth and fun to our lives.

“A good time to laugh is any time you can.” – Linda Ellerbee

Do you laugh loudly or do you think it is embarrassing? I am waiting eagerly for your answers.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

This is not a book review or a sponsored post.

 

 

 

 

Spring Of Our Dreams

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When I bowed my head in penitence
You didn’t even look at me
I whispered your favorite trill
You didn’t respond with usual thrill

Fresh leaves sparkle all around us
Blooming blossoms emit fragrance
They are smiling at your conceit
Your high headedness is so concrete!

Are you thinking of a new melody?
To match the surreal spring air
Are you waiting for a new friend?
To flutter with pure pretend

Your songs have lost their passion
The disconnect is dawdling between us
I am trying to understand this attitude
What is your problem dude?

Is it the angst against modern melodies?
Is it the effect of this chaotic cacophony?
Are you sinking into a gloomy gorge?
Or just waiting for a kinder world

The world of our reveries
Where love would be generous
Where equality won’t be a façade
Peace and tolerance – not a mere maud!

© Balroop Singh

All rights reserved.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems.

If you have liked this poem, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

Which Is More Enchanting…Sunrise Or Sunset?

Winter Sunset

I have always found sunsets more alluring as I could watch them without making any special effort and I had some time to spare in the evening. I saw most of the sunrises from the windshield of my car, while driving to work and that too only in winters.

When I rummage through my childhood memories, none of them is connected with sunrise but I remember walking with the moon and wondering how it could accompany me everywhere!

While on a vacation I have always found the warmth of my bed and early morning sleep more charming than stepping out to see the sun!

The first real sunrise that I saw at Kasauni (a hill station and village situated in Bageshwar district in the state of Uttarakhand, India) is still embedded in my memory.

It is the most memorable one not because we were told that we must visit Kasauni, “the Switzerland of India” and watch the sunrise and inspired by the exuberance of our youth we took it more like an adventure!

It is memorable because of getting up before dawn in freezing cold, with a little baby of six months in my hands, all bundled up with a cute cap and watching the panoramic view of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, slowly changing color seemed like a dream in those days. One of my albums holds this beautiful memory but it belongs to that era of cameras, which were not digital.

“Saw the sun rise. A lovely apricot sky with flames in it and then solemn pink. Heavens, how beautiful…I feel so full of love to-day after having seen the sun rise.” – Katherine Mansfield

sunset

Despite that heavenly view none of the vacations to picturesque places could impel me to move my butt out of my balmy bed to watch the clouds turning soft pink to peach.

It is blessing to catch an early morning flight because the hues of yellow, ochre and orange reveal themselves with all their glory, which can be watched effortlessly from the window seat, I love to occupy.

I may whine a lot about why is the flight so early but all those words melt and merge into the hues of spectacular sunrise.

Sun peeping into my living room
Sun peeping into my living room!

But I love sunsets and nature has conspired so lovingly to place me here. Now the direction of my little abode is such that the sun peeps through my French windows before going down.

The golden hour extends as the orange and the golden glow lingers longer for me to capture its mesmerizing charm and I watch it from my couch everyday, deriving unfathomable pleasure of lifetime.

The window of my bedroom presents the view of sunrise. Since I befriended eight, I hardly ever see it.

Colors of sunset
“A sunset is the sun’s fiery kiss to the night.” ― Crystal Woods

All the pictures of sunset have been taken from one place, the patio of my home. I have many more!

Do you like sunsets? Do they evoke any memories?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Sunset hues
Sunset hues!