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.

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.

The Day I Escaped…#writephoto

flame

Dismal darkness around the flames recedes
When exquisite images ingrained within
Leap out to attract lovers
With dreams of ebullient elation

Flickering embers inflame your thoughts
Each one burning brightly… crackling crisp
Reminding me why I keep away
Darkness dares to break boundaries

Remember the day?
The yearning leapt up in flames
Onlookers looked at the mysterious mound
Growing red with sardonic smolder

The lure of licking embers drew closer
Consuming all…now you live within them
My gratitude for letting in the freedom
Fiery love burns brighter!

The day I escaped those embers
Enlightenment revealed itself
Love is but a distant dream
An ephemeral enticement!
© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Flame #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.

Is Affection An Offshoot Of Love?

Affection

Affection comes naturally but it has to be nurtured in the impressionable years of growth. If it is rebuffed in the earlier stages of childhood, it recedes to the remotest corners of our heart, difficult to reignite.

People who grow up to be reticent and unemotional have probably been denied this affection. They have never been told that it is natural to hug and speak in clear words about their emotions. When emotions are snubbed, we learn to disregard them.

My earliest recollections about affection are connected with my grandma but she didn’t live in our house and she died when I was quite young. Out of all my aunts, I felt drawn towards only one, probably because she was kind, soft-spoken and listened calmly.

Besides this I didn’t know what is affection till I became a mother…why it doesn’t come naturally to all mothers is the biggest mystery!

Affection is different from love, which can be selfish and demanding though understanding love is more challenging than understanding affection!

Affection is a much profound emotion, which is inexplicable but can be fathomed through our pores. It percolates down our skin slowly. It exposes us to some finer emotions. It can mold us into caring and understanding persons.

Though the synonyms of affection are: fondness, liking, feeling, love, care, desire, passion, warmth, attachment, goodwill, devotion, kindness, inclination, tenderness, propensity, friendliness, amity

But…Affection is not passion; it is not love albeit love may later develop due to this sublime emotion.

Affection is not transient; it grows even when it is not reciprocated.

Affection is not a desire; it cannot be commanded. It is earned.

Affection is not ‘liking’; it doesn’t change with seasons.affection-quote

I had a colleague who was very affectionate. She could win many hearts with her way of approaching people and her words, even those, which carried an unsolicited advice could affect! I felt drawn toward her due to her kindness but I won’t say I loved her.

In the beginning; love is just a passing thought, a mirage that allures us.

Love grows if it is nurtured. It evolves itself but withers if it is not watered with affection, care, respect and kindness. Romantic love morphs into a loving and eternal relationship if we understand what is love.

We attach so many emotions and expectations to love that its real visage gets sidelined. It’s illusionary aspect carries us far into the world of unknown…obviously we wander and drift away!

While the perception of love changes with time and depends on culture and conditioning, affection is more reliable.

“Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our natural lives.” – C. S. Lewis

Affection can be nurtured:

  • Respond to your child’s demands with soft words
  • Make bedtime a memorable and loving moment
  • Read good stories with the right emotion and intonation
  • Hug your child lovingly and speak endearing words calmly
  • Be gentle and soft, as a child can understand the caresses more than a usual touch
  • Be positive and honest in your dealings
  • Avoid manipulations as a child can understand them quite well
  • Be sensitive to the thoughts and fears of your child
  • Never ever yell at or nag them for their imperfections
  • Be emotionally present and empathize with their frustrations
  • Always use positive words to encourage them.

The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed, there is no winter and no night; all tragedies, all ennui s, vanish, all duties even. – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

How do you show affection? Does it affect love?

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.