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Make a case for or against the study of popular verse.

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Make a case for or against the study of popular verse. In order to understand the importance of poetry we first need to answer the question what is poetry? In reading a poem for its message, critics often appear to be saying that poems 'really' mean something different form what they appear to mean, and may of us are often led to assume that the interpretation of a text is a matter of finding its 'hidden meaning'. Poetry can be defined as genre by saying that it is different form other main literary genres, fiction and dramas. A second definition based on features of language distinguishes between the way poetry and so called ordinary uses of language. A third definition would differentiate poetry from prose on the basis that it is arranged differently on the page. ...read more.


Although many readers say that a poem ought to be enjoyed for its own sake, the critical reading of poetry involves trying to understand how that pleasure is produced. Poems achieve their emotional power by working the resources of the language to the limit. It could be argued that poetry represents real life. It tells about believes and about social issues for example some poems talk about racism and inequality in society. Some talk about God and his existence. It is important to note that these views are written from an individual point of view and although it does not give a clear view of what the society it was trying to represent was like it does give the reader an idea. ...read more.


Also from studying poetry the reader is encouraged to write poetry and meaningful experiences with other people. John Barrel has argued that we ought to ask questions of poems which have been neglected under New Criticism's influence: 'when it was written, whom it addressed, what was the function of any particular literary activity- writing epic poems, reading novels- at any particular period or for any particular kind of reader'. In other words he is proposing that poems need to be regarded as discursive acts produced within specific institutions and discursive networks. The major implication with this theory of discourse is that the poems need to be understood not in terms of uniquely individual thought of its author but in terms of the general belief system of the period as it adapted to historical circumstance. In conclusion poetry is not one thing but many things. This is not only because we have different ways of describing things. ...read more.

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