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!