April is National Poetry Month. The Livingston Center for Art and Culture, in collaboration with Elk River Books, celebrates by sponsoring Poetry in the Windows. Poems by local authors are displayed in the windows of downtown businesses through the month of April. Community members can pick up a list to follow a “poetry walk” at the Center. A poetry reading will be held the evening of April 13 at 7:00PM at the Livingston Center.
You can learn quite a few things just by looking at a poem. The title may give you some image or association to start with. Looking at the poem’s shape, you can see whether the lines are continuous or broken into groups (called stanzas), or how long the lines are, and so how dense, on a physical level, the poem is. These are good qualities to notice, and they may lead you to a better understanding of the poem in the end.
But sooner or later, you’re going to have to read the poem, word by word.