A poem is a pure thing, a beautiful inference that can, despite its lightness, carry remarkable loads. Just like what is implied in the book Jaime’s Inspirations: Poems from the Heart by Jaime Fidler as the words and meaning of her poems genuinely inspire others.
When you consider that meditation works similarly (even the tiniest of phrases, matched with the movement of our breath) can bring remarkable calmness and clarity to a loaded life – the power of poems begins to make sense. The best poems often work in the same way as these meditative phrases. They match words and breath and offer rhythms vital to the soul. In this way, poems can function like little bits of magic or lullaby.
Now, it’s true that studying the intricacies of something can deepen one’s appreciation of it; the same is true with poetry. Thus, a person might find it more powerful to treat poems as personal and communal treasures. For those who want to extend themselves to a new medium like poetry but don’t know where to start, read on. Here are tips on how to love poetry in just three days!
Day 1: Read a Poem a Day
It is said for a few that the best writers read poetry. The best of the best often read a poem a day. It helps put treasures of compelling images and strong flow into their minds, where the words and rhythms inform their prose. People don’t usually need to think about why they are reading something. Usually, they have an immediate, intuitive sense of what it is for and, therefore, how to read it.
Further, reading a poem a day also helps a person find poetic gems one might decide to keep or share. People don’t usually need to think about why they are reading something. Usually, they have an immediate, intuitive sense of what it is for and, therefore, how to read it.
Day 2: Commit Poetry to Memory
Why? Because it’s a great mental exercise, memorizing poems can help people increase their ability to focus. It is a quality that bears achievement across many subjects. Committing poetry to memory is also a chance to really experience poems and hide them inside like a treasure that’s always accessible during moments of boredom or emotional need. When one is attentive to the language of poetry, to the words they see before them in the poem, you start to get a glimmer of the actuality, the paradox, complexity, and uncertainty behind how an individual usually perceives the world. Words and ideas can loosen and break free for a moment so that one can experience them anew. Therefore, pay attention to the things that get caught in your head. Little bits of verse and doggerel that you’re able to pull up at a moment’s notice can help you fall in love with poetry.
Day 3: Take Your Time
Poems are not read like novels. Savor, taste, enjoy. Many things in one’s culture are experienced quickly and put behind you. Mountains of sensationalized blog posts and self-help books bound in tiny print; fly at you so fast that if you dare spend even a moment in introspection, you’ll get buried in well-meaning advice. Poetry is different. It’s meant to be read slowly. In poetry, each word has a reason. In this sense, it differs from prose. While good prose does avoid words for the sake of words, poetry takes that a step further. With poetry, you go in with a scalpel and cut out all the paddings. Each word is there for its sound and heft, and weight. Take your time, and go over each word carefully. And, ideally, more than once.
Poems exist to create a space for the possibilities of language as material. That is what distinguishes them from all other forms of writing. Poems allow language its inherent provisionality, uncertainty, and slippages. They also give space for its physicality — the way it sounds, looks, feels in the mouth — to make meaning. Poetry can be weird, and you’re not going to understand it all the time (that’s okay). But it is not traumatic. Reading isn’t always about buying whatever narrative the author is selling you. Sometimes you need to go with it and accept that although you don’t understand the sentiment being expressed, the words themselves are phenomenal, and the feelings running through you are priceless. And eventually, fall in love with it.