Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Three Golden Rules

Well it's nearly time for me to embark on my poetry writing quest! But first, some tips from Stephen on 'how to read the book.'
Apparently I should be prepared for a bombardment of jargon. I'm not sure how up for jargon I am, but hopefully I can just pretend I know what a word means and then move on. It doesn't really matter, does it? Plus, Stephen's put a helpful glossary at the back. Thanks!
Seeing as I studied poetry at uni and therefore, you would think, should have a basic knowledge of the subject, I could maybe skip the first few exercises. You know, get straight to the 'good stuff.' But somehow I don't think that's a good idea, and nor does Stephen. I feel like he knows me so well already! I need to start from the basics, of that much I am sure.

Here are the Golden Rules for reading The Ode:

1. Take my time.
This is pretty important for me, as I am an expert at skimming. I consider it a talent of mine that I can read a whole book in one night, and afterwards have no idea whatsoever about the characters or the plot, or anything else. Well I read it, didn't I? So it doesn't matter what it was about, does it really?
Stephen also suggests reading out loud. At some point I should definitely do this in public, like on the train or something...

2. Never worry about 'meaning.'
I like this! Thank you Stephen for making it Ok for me not to understand or care what a poem means. I appreciate that a lot.

3. Buy a notebook.
I feel very pompous and smug writing this rule in my already purchased notebook. What a good student! But then I read on and see that Stephen wants me to carry it EVERYWHERE. Oh. I will have to make a deal here: I promise to take it with me, whenever I have a big enough handbag. Sorry this is a lame and girly proviso, but it's just honest. Sometimes a notebook is simply not practical.

And now, I am assured, I am ready to begin.
Bring it on!

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