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AP English Poetry JournalMichelle Rosenberg8/9/10Initial ResponseThe thought of reading poetry makes me uncomfortable. I am not familiar with this type of literature and I feel like there is always some deeper meaning to search for. Since I do not read a lot of poetry, this deeper meaning will probably be that much harder for me to unveil. My most significant experiences with poetry consist of reading Shel Silverstein books as an elementary school child, reading Shakespearian poetry in my freshman year of high school, and hearing some poetry in Perspectives class sophomore year. I used to flip through the pages of Where the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, and A Light in the Attic. I do not remember much of reading them because I favored looking at the pictures rather than reading the actual text. The one poem I do remember was Sickbecause it was my favorite piece. I just remember I thought it was really funny because I always wanted to fake sick to skip going to school. I enjoyed it because I could relate to it; the subject was age appropriate and simple. When it got to my freshman year, we read some not-so-simple poetry by Shakespeare before reading Romeo and Juliet. I do not remember what we read, but it was nearly impossible to understand. I could not understand the wording to begin with, being completely unfamiliar with Shakespearian language, which overwhelmed me. Once my teacher dissected the poem and explained each line in modern day English, I was able to start unveiling what the message of the poem was. I usually really enjoy analyzing literature, but I remember not being too fond of trying to make sense out of poetry after reading this poem. I think I did not give poetry enough credit for its beauty because I was scared off. My next experience with poetry was listening to it every day at the start of Perspectives. I remember my teacher gave a small speech at the beginning of the year explaining all we had to do was listen. He understood most of us were unfamiliar with poetry; it was just a small, traditional exercise that would
make us a little more familiar with poetry. Since Perspectives was first period and I was still trying to fully wake up, I did not think during the majority of my listening. I was really entertained by the tones and attitude my teacher used when reading though. On the days that I was awake, it helped me imagine the story. I definitely got something out of the daily routine, but I cannot say it made me want to read poetry. I really have no excuse to be so afraid of poetry because I have not interpreted it that much. I am excited to see where reading and analyzing these pieces of poetry take me. Now that I am older and more experienced, maybe I will be able to appreciate poetry in a new way.