When I first heard we were starting to work with poetry, I had the typical reaction that most people my age have. I put an annoyed look on my face. I thought I wasn’t going to get through this part of the class. At this point, I knew some poetry terms, but I didn’t know there were as many components to poetry as we learned in class. The way we “analyzed” poems in middle school wasn’t too in-depth, and I didn’t learn much. At the beginning of the poetry unit, I was mostly exposed to formalism and free verse poems. Rhyme, alliteration, and onomatopoeia are terms that I previously learned, so I put that knowledge to use to help me analyze the poems I’ve read. I was familiar with the term iambic but wasn’t as familiar with terms such as anapestic, dactylic, spondaic, and pyrrhic. I was also familiar with meters. The two poems I chose for the first assignment still showed that I didn’t like poetry that much. When I responded to the questions asking why I liked or disliked the poems I chose I couldn’t give too much detail in my explanations because I just didn’t learn much about poetry up until that point. I didn’t really understand the poems I chose, so that’s all I could say. The scansion practice wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, and it actually made my thoughts of poetry alter a bit. I still wasn’t a fan of poetry, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The sound and sense questions weren’t fun to answer. At this point, I knew that I didn’t hate reading poetry. I just disliked the work that goes along with analyzing poems. After that, we started to read “Eldorado”. “Eldorado” wasn’t too difficult to get through. I think I might enjoy poetry more if I get to choose the specific poems I’m reading, but it still wasn’t that bad. Answering the sound and sense questions for “Eldorado” was easier than when I answered those questions the first time because by this point I was familiar with it.
I really don’t think poetry itself is an issue. Reading poems isn’t as big of a deal that most people made it out to be in the beginning. I’ve come to realize that the issue with poetry is just the work that takes place when you analyze a poem.