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Newton Campbell

EN 112-1

Professor Eric Meljac

March 23, 2005

Poetry Reflection

This poetry analysis has helped my writing skills far better than it has helped my

reading skills when it comes to poetry. The way that I think about poetry has been

affected greatly. This directly impacted the way that I write about poetry. But I still have

the same poetic reading tendencies. If there have been any changes in my reading trends,

they have been so small that I have not noticed them. What I have learned is how to better

interpret an argument.

Though my reading skills are not too different, my reaction to poetry is. Writing

the paper has changed the way that I interpret poems. I used to read poems too

analytically. I would try to find every possible meaning that I could think of and find

something that would not even be close to what the poem was getting at. I would dig far

too deep into a poem instead of just looking at what was on the surface. I would think

way to far into what the poem could be about instead of what it actually is about. Because

of in-class assignments and the poetry reflection, I have now found that looking at a

poem for what it is instead of looking at it for what it could be is the best way to react to


As was previously stated before, my actual methods for reading poems have not

changed a great deal. I still follow all of my old processes. Whenever I have some time, I

sit down and read a poem. If I do not understand the poem or if the poem is long or
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confusing, I will read it again. If anything about the way that I read poetry has changed, it

would have to be the way that I look for argument in the poem. I used to read poems

waiting to find a certain point where the argument was located. Now, I realize that the

entire poem itself is the argument that the poet is trying to make. This has helped me to

read poems more thoroughly. But a significant change in my reading skills has still not

yet been made.

Writing this reflection has definitely strengthened my writing skills. My writing

skills have improved because I have become better at interpreting arguments. I have

learned that even though an argument that one believes an author or poet is making does

not have to be exact, it should be close. It is ridiculous to write papers trying to justify an

extremely farfetched argument. The truth is that any argument can be justified if one

provides sufficient evidence and claims to back it up. But even with all this support, in

general, an author is only trying to make one specific argument. Any other arguments are

merely an individual’s perception. In other words, other arguments are the result of a

reader thinking way too hard about something that is clearly on the page.

My own argumentative skills have changed after writing this reflection. This

paper was one of the few essays that I have written in which I have gone through a text,

line by line, trying to state how everything supported his or her argument. I believe that a

poem is probably one of the only types of texts that a person can do this with. With other

texts such as short stories, there are sentences that do not relate to the argument at all. But

because a poem is one big argument in itself, everything that the poet writes is related to

his or her claim. There for every line of every stanza is somehow beneficial to a poet’s