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Poetry

Having a problem understanding the poem "Conjoined" by Judith Minty.

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<br>First, since any art form is subject to interpretation, know that there is no "right" answer about meaning. Every medium-in this case, poetry-DOES have some basic "rules" to help in one's search for "truth," but DO keep in mind that very little IS ABSOLUTE in terms of interpretation.

<br>Here are some guidelines to use in the explication and interpretation of poetry:

<br> 1) Start at the Beginning.
a) Most poems have titles, and most titles tell the reader something important about the poem.
Question: What are some definitions for "conjoined"?

2) Read the poem in a variety of ways.
a) Read the poem silently.

Question: What do you think? Feel? Wonder about? Imagine?

b) Read the poem aloud: listen to the rhythm and note any device that adds to it.

Question: Do you hear the rhymes and/or other poetic devices?

Question: Do you notice the repetition of identical consonant and/or vowel sounds?
Question: Do you notice identical words or phrases?

3) Use a dictionary.
a) After steps one and two, reread the piece and make note of any words you do not know.

Question: Are any words used in a strange or unusual way? (Look up words you do not know!)

Question: Are there alternate meanings to words you DO know that may create a different meaning in the piece?

Question: What references are used, and what do they mean LITERALLY and FIGURATIVELY?

4) Remember that poems are constructed in units of meaning.
a) A unit of meaning is a word or group of words that reveals something relevant to the gist of the poem.
b) A unit of meaning may be any size. It may be a single word, a part of the piece, or it may encompass the whole poem.
c) Locate each unit of meaning and ascertain as many possible meanings for those units as you can.
d) Take notes about the meanings!
e) Look for patterns in your notes.
f) Don't forget that it is possible-likely even-that the poem has more than one meaning.

5) Look for images in the poem.

Question: Do the images add to the meaning of the poem?

Question: Do they help to create the tone of the poem?

Question: Do they create symbols in the poem?

Question: Do they add credibility to the poem?

Question: Do they contribute to the poem's setting?

There are six types of images:
1. Visual images (sight) attempt to tap into reader's memories of people, places, and things
a) Writer's use this to create setting, tone, credibility, and symbols in their poems.

NOTE: Minty's poem uses VISUAL imagery.
2. Auditory images (sound) invoke reader's memories of sounds.
a) Writer's use this to add rhythm and tone to poems.

3. Gustatory images (taste) are frequently used metaphorically to make difficult concepts more available to the reader.

NOTE: Minty's poem uses GUSTATORY imagery.

4. Olfactory ...

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