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Poetry Interpretation: Conveying the appropriate emotions

Poetry Interpretation
Poetry Interpretation: Conveying the appropriate emotions
on June, 16 2014
Poetry  Interpretation

Image credit: Pekka Kejonen taken by Anneli Salo under Public Domain.

Poems are meant to be read aloud so that people can actually feel and understand the emotions behind them. Every once in a while we see poets delivering their poems in public. Among the most significant poetry reading in history was that of the late Maya Angelou during the Inauguration of former US President Clinton. However, these days, we rarely see poets doing poetry interpretation or reading. Yet, this task is still given to individuals who have the ability to read poems out loud and convey the right emotions.

If you are given the task to do poetry interpretation, you have to realize that it is not just about reading the poem. There is a lot more to it. Thus, you have to prepare well so your interpretation will be felt by the listeners. Here are some tips for you to follow:

• Read the poem quietly first. Try to understand the speaker of the poem. Is it a boy or a girl? Is it a husband talking to his wife or a mother talking to his children? You need to understand who exactly delivers the poem and find the “voice” that you need to bring out a heartfelt delivery.

• Poems are filled with metaphors and symbolisms. Thus, you need to unlock the meaning of these terms. By then, it will be easier for you to understand exactly what it is that the poem suggests to the listeners. Make sure that you convey the right emotion for these metaphors for the listeners to easily understand what the poem is all about.

• Be aware of the rhythm and meter. They vary from one poem to another. Some poems are freestyle and don’t have any of these qualities. Thus, the way you interpret the poems must be based on the suggested rhythm.

• Don’t be monotonous. If you will just deliver the poem as if you are reading an ordinary article, then it would be better for the listeners to just read the poem silently. You were given the chance to deliver it to them orally, so you have to make the most out of it. Vary your voice depending on the emotion and the character speaking.

• If you are given the chance to provide your personal insights at the end of the poem, then do it. This will allow you to share your personal understanding of the poem and on how it speaks to you. By then, the listeners may be able to relate to your reflection or make contradictions. Either way, you make them more engaged to the poem you have just interpreted.

There are a lot of instances in which poem interpretation is done. Though it is not as popular today as it was before, still learning how to interpret it is very useful. You might be invited to join formal gatherings where poetry interpretation is required. You might also show interest in joining a poetry or literature club. Thus, it helps a lot if you know about poetry interpretation.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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