Last week I challenged readers to choose a line from the poem “Relic” by Jennifer Foerster and reflect on the meaning of the line. Using reading strategies like this can help make poetry more accessible to readers new to poetry by breaking up the poem into more manageable parts.  

Poetry has a reputation for being confusing because of the word choice and complex meanings.

One of my favorite strategies is to read a poem out loud or listen to it being read out loud. It’s a simple strategy but it helps me better experience and make sense of the poem.

Use the following link to listen to one of my favorite poems, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers” by Emily Dickinson:

Was listening to the poem helpful? What phrases stood out to you as you read? Poetry can take practice, which is why reading strategies that help you is so important.

Reading a poem out loud is just one strategy. If you are looking for more, the blog post by educator Shaelynn Farnsworth entitled “Strategies to Help Students Unlock Poetry” provides many helpful suggestions.

What are your favorite poetry reading strategies? Which ones do you want to try? Over the next months, I’ll be sharing more of my favorite strategies and my favorite poems. Stay tuned!

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