How To Read A Poem

This is a book I picked up to help me better appreciate what I’ve been reading. What is great about it is that it uses poems as examples to build explanations upon. The reason I picked up the book has to do with my weaknesses of English grammar. I don’t really understand the grammar of my own language fluently. Particularly I do not recall the decades old lessons from grade school about rhyme, meter and other things used as poetical devices. So, I have begun this new book, by Burton Raffel, and here is a poem I read recently from it:

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove.
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love.

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
-Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

~ William Wordsworth


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