Poetry essay: Understanding poetry better

Sometimes poetry can be hard to understand.  You can read through a poem, and have no idea what it means.  What can you do about this?  How can you better understand poetry?  Here are some steps you can take:

Read it again

For a specific poem you are having trouble understanding, try reading it again.  Read it more than twice.  Read it five or six times.  Try reading it line by line while pausing to think about what each line means.  You might try writing out the meaning as you go and then reading over that when you are done.

Write poetry

One way to better understand poetry you read, is by writing poetry.  By working with words, metaphors, symbols, rhymes, and so forth, you can gain a better understanding of them.  This understanding can help you when you read poems that are difficult to understand.  If you are looking for poetry topic ideas, check out the category on this blog.  There are dozens of poetry ideas that you can use as prompts for writing poetry.

Read explained poems

One way to better understand poetry in general, is to read what different poems mean.  By reading interpretations of poems, you can get better at interpreting them yourself.  You can read poems with explanations on this blog and you can find them in Understanding: poems with explanations.

Discuss poetry

If you talk through poems that you are having trouble understanding with others, it can help you to figure out what the poems mean.  The people you talk to might see things you don’t or understand symbols that you missed.  By going through the discussion you can learn from other perspectives.  You can also learn by explaining what you know about poems that you read.

Read more poems

One way to better understand poetry is to read more poems.  The more poems you read, the more times you see things.  You will see particular metaphors, symbols, ideas, forms, words, and so forth more.  By encountering more poems you can come into contact with more poetry elements.  This can help you when you try to understand difficult poems.  You can find a number of poems on this blog.

Listen to poems

Tone of voice matters.  How words are spoken matters.  Sometimes a poem can sound obscure until you hear the author read it.  When you hear the author read a poem, by listening to their style, pauses, inflection, and so forth, the poem can gain new meaning.  You can get better insight into what the poet is trying to say.  Look for opportunities to listen to poetry.  You might go to readings, find videos online, or listen to audio books.

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Bilingual Poem: clarity

Today is number four.

Yesterday isn’t here.
Yesterday is here.

To know what to do,
is easy.

To know what to do,
is difficult.

In time,
the question.

In time,
with hope,
it is clear.

 

Hoy es número cuatro.

Ayer no está aquí.
Ayer está aquí.

Saber qué hacer,
es fácil.

Saber qué hacer,
es difícil.

En tiempo,
la pregunta.

En tiempo,
con esperanza,
lo es claro.

Understanding: poems with explanations: Have you written an eBook?

As you should know, M. Sakran has a self-published eBook available for purchase.  It is called Understanding: poems with explanations.  You can learn more about it, from the page on this blog: Understanding: poems with explanations.

M. Sakran was wondering, if any readers had self-published eBooks of poetry? If you’re reading this, and you do, then M. Sakran would like to hear about it.

Use the box below to tell M. Sakran all about your book.  Say whatever you like about it.  Who knows, M. Sakran might be intrigued by what you write, could check out the book, and might purchase a copy.  It could happen!  Here’s your opportunity.  Happy writing.

Announcement: Understanding: poems with explanations self-publication

M. Sakran is happy to announce that Understanding: poems with explanations has been self-published and is now available for purchase as an eBook! Buy your copy today!

Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran

Understanding: poems with explanations

By M. Sakran

Copyright 2016 M. Sakran

 

Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran, is a self-published collection of twenty original poems, with explanations of each of them.  The main purpose of this book is to help readers expand their understanding of poetry through the explanations.

The poems in the book cover a variety of topics such as poverty, homelessness, pain, neglect, crime and illness.

The explanations look at the overall meanings of the poems, the meanings of individual parts of the poems, and form in the poems.

Understanding: poems with explanations is currently available for purchase here: Understanding: poems with explanations.  It is currently available for $0.99.  The available price of $0.99 is not expected to change for the foreseeable future.

The foreword to Understanding: poems with explanations was written by Freya Pickard.  Freya was gracious enough to take the time to write the foreword and is much appreciated.

Freya has two blogs: Pure Haiku and Dragonscale Clippings.  If you are looking to read and submit traditional haiku, then check out Pure Haiku.  If you would like to read and find information about a variety of Freya’s writings and other things, then check out Dragonscale Clippings.

Freya also has three books available: The Rusalka Rítual & Other Stories, The Essence of Thyme, and Dragonscale Leggings.

Buy Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran today!

(As a small note, unfortunately there have been some formatting issues with M. Sakran’s second book.  Hopefully these issues should not greatly affect the reading experience a reader has, depending on the device used to read the book.  M. Sakran is making efforts to have these issues resolved.  If any purchasers of the book experience any formatting issues, please let M. Sakran know by using the form on the contact page of this blog.  Thank you.)

Understanding: poems with explanations: Pre-order a copy

Do you enjoy M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things?

Do you like the poems with explanations you’ve read on the blog?

Do you like the idea of supporting a writer whose work you enjoy?

If so, then please consider pre-ordering a copy of Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran.  It is available as an eBook for an available price of $0.99.  Pre-order a copy today.

Understanding: poems with explanations: Who might enjoy this book?

M. Sakran’s new book, Understanding: poems with explanations, is currently available for pre-order as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. A question is, who might enjoy this book?

Well, first, hopefully a wide variety of people, but more specifically:

  • People who like to read poetry, but find that they have trouble sometimes understanding what poems mean.
  • People who like to write poetry, but find that they sometimes have trouble expressing certain ideas in certain ways.
  • People who feel like they don’t like poetry, because they “just don’t get it”.
  • People who like poetry, but have been wanting to read poems that are explained by the author to know what the poems really mean.

Understanding: poems with explanations, goes through twenty poems in a detailed way.  The explanations look at the overall meanings of the poems, the meanings of individual parts of the poems, and form in the poems.

By reading this book, in addition to learning what these poems mean, hopefully a person can learn more about understanding poetry.  This could help a person when they read poetry and when they write it.

This book could also provide some assistance to those who feel they “just don’t get poetry”.  By reading these twenty poems and their explanations, hopefully a little of the mystery will be gone.

Lastly, if you’ve ever read a book a poetry and wished that you could know what the author meant, well, this books does that for twenty poems.

Hopefully a wide variety of people will enjoy this new book.  Pre-order your copy today!

Understanding: poems with explanations: the cover

Here is the cover to M. Sakran’s new book (currently available for pre-order), Understanding: poems with explanations:

Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran

Understanding: poems with explanations is a soon to be self-published collection of twenty original poems with explanations of each of them.

Readers may be wondering about the cover – Where did it come from?  Why was it chosen?  Does it have any meaning?  And so forth.

The poems in the book, Understanding: poems with explanations, are obviously explained in the book.  The cover, however, is not.  Here, therefore, is some explanation of the cover.

When trying to decide the cover for a book (a notably important decision), there are a lot of different options.  A person could pay for one or do it themselves.  A person could go the route of artwork or photography or just text or some combination.  There are decisions about colors and fonts and spacing and so forth.  It can be a lot.

The cover for this book is a computer altered photograph.  Generally, the computer alteration, made the colors brighter and fuller.  On top of that, text was added.

The photograph for the cover is of part of a citrus tree.  Although the fruits may look like limes, they are actually unripe oranges.

Originally, the idea for the cover was to take an up close photograph of an insect or a flower and computer alter it.  There have been examples of this type of photography (not computer altered) on the blog and on MSakran.com and they generally look nice.

It was proving difficult though to find something acceptable for the cover.  The cover would be a lasting thing and needed to be something special and fit in some way.  In the process of searching for an appropriate photograph, a lot of time was spent around a certain citrus tree.  This lead to the idea of, why not photograph the tree?

Many photographs of the tree were taken and the one selected seemed the best.  It had a combination of multiple fruits and full leaves.  After the improved effect of the computer alteration, it seemed to be the right choice.  It was bright, full, and stood out.

White text was chosen (in M. Sakran’s preferred font) to provide contrast.

In a certain way, the cover was arrived at simply.  It was a nice computer altered photograph.  In examining it after the fact though, there is a lot behind it.

Readers of the blog will know that citrus has been a recurring feature on the blog.  There are quite a few posts that reference citrus and there was even a citrus series on the blog.  The main reason for this is that M. Sakran currently has access to five citrus trees (one of which is very large).  Often these trees have interesting things on them and they make for good photographs and artwork subjects.  Additionally, citrus trees and things about them can lend themselves to certain poetic ideas.

Although trying to reflect something from the blog was not at the forefront of the decision to use this cover, it does turn out that it helps tie the book and blog together.

As defined by M. Sakran, because of the computer alteration, this cover is artwork.  Despite that though, many make look at it as a photograph and ask, “Why wasn’t a less photography based artwork (like charcoal or colored pencil or a water color artwork) used for the cover?”  Some may feel that a different type of artwork cover might fit a book with poetry better.  There were actually a few reasons for this.

One was the idea of standing out.  There was the thought to have a cover that would be different from other books that contain poetry.  Hopefully this bright green cover achieved that.

Another point, was the fact, that artwork sometimes has a hit or miss quality.  Some people really like an artwork, whereas others may not get it.  A photograph of a plant somewhat avoids this problem.  Not everyone will like a photograph of a citrus tree, but it shouldn’t confuse anyone.

Another idea, and one that M. Sakran is hesitant to admit, is that sometimes M. Sakran’s artworks can be hit or miss.  Not every artwork M. Sakran has created has come out amazingly (although quite a few on the blog and website, have been, in M. Sakran’s opinion, very nice).  Sometimes, some people, may not like them.  To help avoid this problem, an artistically altered photograph was used instead of artwork of another medium.

Some may wonder why a self-made cover was used as opposed to a paid for one.  The considerations for this were generally practical.  A good cover can cost quite a bit of money.  It was just not something M. Sakran could spend.  Also, there was the idea of copyright issues.  Although this can be discussed when a cover is purchased, these issues can generally be avoided when the cover is self-made.  Another practical issue was the idea of communication.  Seeing a cover in your head is one thing.  Communicating that to another person is another.  This was avoided with a self-made cover.

Some good questions to ask about the cover are, “How does the cover relate to the overall idea of the book?”  “How does the cover relate to the title of the book?”  “Does the cover relate to any specific parts of the book?”

In looking for a good subject for the cover, there was the idea of having it relate, somehow, to the idea of understanding.  That is part of the title and idea of the book and seemed something important to reflect.  The idea of understanding though, is a broad one, and it basically manifested itself as a search for something that seemed significant in some way (like an up close photograph of an insect might).  Upon reflection, it can be seen that this cover does reflect the idea of the book well.

The book is about explaining something (poetry) that might at first pass be somewhat mystifying.  This cover in some ways reflects that idea.

First, as mentioned, these fruits are oranges.  In the cover though, they don’t look like ripe oranges.  They either look like limes or like unripe citrus fruits (which they are).  This idea is a lot like the book.  At first pass, a poem in the book might seem to be about a certain thing or reflect a certain emotion.  The reality (as explained in the poem’s explanation) can be different though.

In another sense, this cover depicts something that is unripe.  This “unripe-ness” can be seen to parallel the idea of the book.  These fruit aren’t “finished” in some way.  The poems in the book, aren’t in some sense finished, until they are explained.

These fruit have a mystery.  What are they?  What are they going to be?  This mystery reflects the mystery of what the poems in the book really mean before they are explained.

In another sense, these fruits have something inside.  There is the outer peal that gives the appearance, but there is something hidden within.  This idea is a lot like the poems in the book.  The poems have a certain feel and ideas when read, but in addition to that, there is a meaning in them that is revealed in the explanations.

As a note, the cover to the book is not reflected in any particular poem in the book (and vice versa).  The idea was to have the cover give a universal representation of what was inside.

Hopefully readers of this blog, and future readers of the book, like this cover.  There was some thought to it, and hopefully, after reading this explanation of it, it will be even more appreciated.  If you would like to let M. Sakran know what you think of the cover, use the form on the contact page.

Poems with explanations: a list so far

As announced yesterday, M. Sakran has written a second book.  The book is called Understanding: poems with explanations and became available for pre-order this past Friday.  Pre-order your copy today!

Understanding: poems with explanations is a soon to be self-published collection of twenty original poems with explanations of each of them.

Readers of this blog will know that poems with explanations has been a regular category here on the blog.  So far, by M. Sakran’s count, there have been seventy four explained poems on this blog.  The idea was to help readers learn about poetry by providing an explanation of poems.

All of the poems with explanations that have been on the blog so far can be found here: poems with explanations.  There is also a list below with links to each one.  Read the ones you’d like to read.

As a point of clarity, none of the poems in Understanding: poems with explanations have been here on the blog.  The poems in the book have not been on MSakran.com nor previously published elsewhere by M. Sakran.  They are original to the book.

Although the poems and explanations in Understanding: poems with explanations, are in some ways different from what has been here on the blog, hopefully, if you enjoy the idea of reading poems and then finding out something of their meaning, you will enjoy the poems and explanations in the book.  Pre-order a copy today.

Poems with explanations from the blog:

tornado

Transitions

Ode to Oro

Leaving

Apples from orange trees

A timeless space

the boy and the monster

different

Fifty

ideas

Normalcy

Zoom

Two walked in

Moment

Step, step, step

Twenty doors

Empty

Views

Plight

Emptiness

Understanding

How long did the falling take?

sounds

A different bell

arranged

A third option

Searching (from The Christmas Series)

Christmas tree

fading

Finches and leaves

Hey look, it’s that guy with the dogs

Rows

Experience

October

Today, Yesterday, Tomorrow or some other time

meaninglessness

Walking inside

Ripening citrus fruit

The Flower Shop

Tension

Searching

A snail

Eyes and a wolf

Disappearing

Blurry remorse

Please heed the request

a stop

bird nests

a star

Fire place

The hummingbird and the crow

The clock strikes

Vacation

Perspective

Silent rain

Height

The Specter Looms

Caterpillar

The Lake

Communication

The Shadow Moth

Chicken Salad

Times

The orange wing

The pedals turned

Disillusionment

Fading

The gnat

Three o’clock

The Spider

Summer Winter

a letter

Crystal mistake

Illuminate the darkness

Announcement: Understanding: poems with explanations

M. Sakran is happy to announce that M. Sakran has written a second book! This book is called Understanding: poems with explanations and became available for pre-order this past Friday! Pre-order your copy today!

Understanding: poems with explanations Cover

Understanding: poems with explanations

By M. Sakran

Copyright 2016 M. Sakran

 

Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran, is a soon to be self-published collection of twenty original poems, with explanations of each of them.  The main purpose of this book is to help readers expand their understanding of poetry through the explanations.  It is scheduled to be published on September 27, 2016, but can be pre-ordered now.

The poems in the book cover a variety of topics such as poverty, homelessness, pain, neglect, crime and illness.

The explanations look at the overall meanings of the poems, the meanings of individual parts of the poems, and form in the poems.

Understanding: poems with explanations is currently available for pre-order as an eBook here: Understanding: poems with explanations.  It is currently available for $0.99.  The eBook should be available to order on September 27th, and the available price of $0.99 is not expected to change for the foreseeable future.

The foreword to Understanding: poems with explanations was written by Freya Pickard.  Freya was gracious enough to take the time to write the foreword and is much appreciated.

Freya has two blogs: Pure Haiku and Dragonscale Clippings.  If you are looking to read and submit traditional haiku, then check out Pure Haiku.  If you would like to read and find information about a variety of Freya’s writings and other things, then check out Dragonscale Clippings.

Freya also has three books available: The Rusalka Rítual & Other Stories, The Essence of Thyme, and Dragonscale Leggings.

Pre-order Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran today!