Here’s a recap of the poetry tips shared on our blog and social media posts so far. Use these tips to explore poetry and this year’s book collection, An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo.

Read Outside: Sometimes all it takes to better understand something or to want to read something is a change of space. Find a poem about the outdoors and take it outside. Being in an environment like the poem may help you connect and understand the poem!

Read aloud: Reading a poem out loud is one of the most simple and effective poetry strategies. By reading a poem aloud, you can pick up on pauses, rhythm, and words that may be missed when reading silently. Also, reading aloud often improves your memory of the piece.

How do you feel after reading?: Oftentimes we prioritize understanding a poem over considering what we like and do not like about the poem. How does the poem make you feel? The author likely selected words or phrases that would make the reader feel a certain way.  

Consider the history: Some poems are hard to grasp because they contain historical context. This is especially true with older poems and poets. There is no harm in researching a poem to better understand the context or references a poem makes. This just increases how much you learn through a poem!

Words matter: Any English teacher or professor drilled into my head the idea that words are one of the most important parts of poetry. Poetry crams so much into a few short lines, so each word has to have a purpose. This means readers have to give their attention to each word. Look up words you do not know, consider word repetition, or just think about a word choice that surprised you.  

Keep a lookout for more poetry strategies on our upcoming blog posts and social media. Comment below which has been the most helpful to you as you dive into poetry! 

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