How to Read Poetry

Welcome to Sea Scented Poetry’s first blog post of 2021. We hope you all had a lovely Christmas period despite the challenges we’re all facing.

I’ve been writing poetry off and on for a good few years now and one thing I hear from family members is “I don’t know how to read poetry.” 

Ok, so how do you read poetry? To put it simply, just read it like you would any other piece of writing. Ignore line breaks, taking a short pause at a comma and a longer pause at a full stop. 

If it sounds flat reading in your head, read it out loud. Does it sound different? Does reading it quietly benefit your understanding of the poem or does shouting the words out change the meaning. The real power of poetry comes from being read aloud.

Also, if you’re struggling to understand a poem’s meaning or make sense of its metaphors, stop trying to understand and enjoy the words for the sounds they make.

Here are a few links 

Bliss – Lali A. Love

My own poetry can be heard here

And there are hundreds of poems to listen to at The Poetry Channel

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2 thoughts on “How to Read Poetry

  1. Magpie Stories

    Really interesting piece, so many people think poetry is something alien and hard to understand. I love the fact you mention pausing with the punctuation! I say the same thing when teaching my students. Happy New year

    Magpie Stories

    1. seascent Post author

      I think sometimes it’s hard to find poetry that’s relevant to us. Reading poetry can also be akin to digging for gems. Happy new year.

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