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Five Easy Steps To Reading A Famous Poem
Famous poems are everywhere. They appear in places no one could expect – slogans on television, common sayings and phrases, and the titles of just about every artistic film or endeavor at the local video store. Because famous poems are so transcendent, we rarely if ever notice they are there and even less often realize who wrote them. Why not ensure the proper steps are taken when reading a famous poem then to better appreciate the author, the poem, and the time spent reading it.
Step #1 – Selecting a Famous Poem
Easy as pie, right? It might immediately seem so but finding and selecting a specific famous poem or poet to study can be a bit time consuming. Do you really want to read something that does not interest you? You wouldn’t simply buy a book off of a shelf because the woman at the desk told you it was famous. You would want to know what the book is about. The same is true for poetry.
Most of the famous poems in history are available for free online and can be searched for by topic. If you are interested in a war story, Homer’s Iliad has been enthralling readers for millennia while Shakespeare’s sonnets are beautiful love poems. There are numerous resources for finding that ideal poem.
Step #2 – Who Wrote the Famous Poem
Who is the author of your famous poem? The list of potential names is nearly endless. Here are a few of the biggest and brightest stars of the poetry universe to get you started:
The list goes on seemingly forever if you let it. The best way to find an incredible, famous poet is to visit the local bookstore or library and ask for recommendations.
Step #3 – Reading the Poem
Read it carefully and slowly. Simply skimming through a famous poem doesn’t do it justice and will only leave you wondering, why is this so famous? You could read a magazine if you simply wanted text to skim over quickly. Poetry is meant to be absorbed and to absorb it you must read it slowly and methodically.
Step #4 – Contextualizing Famous Poems
When was the famous poem written? What was happening in the world? What major events were coloring the life of its author? These are the questions you should ask when reading a famous poem. Every poem has a story behind it and knowing that story can make the entire experience that much more engaging.
Step #5 – Finding More Poetry
Once you find a famous poem that you enjoy, that strikes the perfect cord, you will want to find more of the same. Luckily, many of the poets listed above have enormous bodies of work. Most local bookstores feature large anthologies of work from most of them as well as combined anthologies with famous poems organized by subject or publication date. If you want to find more poetry, there are dozens of resources to do so.
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