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Does Teaching Poetry Get In The Way Of Enjoying It?

Poet and professor Mattthew Zapruder writes about ways to look at poetry anew in his book "Why Poetry."
"Why Poetry," by Matthew Zapruder. (Jackson Mitchell/Here & Now)

Poet and professor Matthew Zapruder (@matthewzapruder) says that the way that poetry is taught often gets in the way of enjoying and understanding it.

He writes about ways to look at poetry anew in “Why Poetry,” and joins Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the book.

Book Excerpt: ‘Why Poetry’

By Matthew Zapruder

The Machine of Poetry

When I was first starting to write poetry, in my early 20’s, I didn’t really understand much about it. I hadn’t been an English major in college, nor had I read much American poetry. So I felt simultaneously thrilled, destabilized, and confused. I felt sure there was meaning there, somewhere. I could feel it. But I also often doubted myself, and felt like I was looking in the wrong place, or missing what was really important.

At that time, I had the vague impression that poets used poetic language and techniques to express important thoughts or ideas in

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