Appreciating Poetry: Introduction

Appreciating poetry is not a skill that comes to many people automatically – instead, it is something that requires a measure of effort and patience.  However, it is certainly worthwhile. Poetry, good poetry at least, can distil  knowledge of the world in a way that helps readers to realize that other people  have the same feelings and experiences that we do or else provides a spark of  inspiration to help us make sense of the apparently cruel indifference of the  universe – other forms of philosophy are available, of course.

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Practical Poetry Criticism: Form

When starting to criticize a poem, perhaps the first thing to consider is the form of the poem. One of the principal ways in which poetry differs from prose is that it matters how the words appear on the page. Prose can be reformatted, re-designed and reprinted in other media and it does not usually make any significant difference – this is definitely not the case with poetry.

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