2/6 – Response 1.3

February 4, 2019

Reading assignment

I. A. Richards, “The Poetic Experience”

Writing assignment

Write a short response (250 words) to the Richards chapter by trying to apply his way of describing the “poetic experience” to your experience of one of the poems in the Poetry Packet 1. Use direct quotations from both Richards and the poem to describe the interests, impulses, attitudes, and emotions that comprise your poetic experience.

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18 Responses to “2/6 – Response 1.3”

  1.   Ayoub Janah said:

    A. Richards a writer who wrote a chapter called “The Poetic Experience” has gave some intriguing points of poetry. Poetry is a type of literary writing in which the writer expresses the ideas/feelings that either affect him/her using literary styles which collectively produces literary pieces, or an artistic merit. Something that is fascinating in literary is how readers each have different experiences when reading poetry. Each reader grasps the ideas of the poem and interpret them differently based on the experiences that they had and were open up to. As A. Richards states, “It is perhaps superfluous to point out that they miss the real poem. To exaggerate this part of the experience, and give it too much importance on its own account, it is a notable current tendency, and for many people explains why they do not read poetry.”(20) Richard brings up the point of how people’s thoughts are so strong that they point out to verses that actually don’t have no meaning at all. There is a bigger picture that people miss. The poem “Design” by Robert Frost, looking at it the first couple of times many would probably just think it’s just a spider eating a moth on a flower. But it’s more than this if you account for it’s “form” the sound and the body. According to Richard, he states “…but the manner, the tone of voice, the cadence and the rhythm play upon our interests and make them pick out among an indefinite number of possibilities the precise particular thoughts which they need.”(29) The poem, “Design” portrayed this as it states, “I found a dimpled spider fat and white, On a white heal-all, holding up a moth.” had the rhythm and cadence as it had equal number of stressed and unstressed syllables. Robert Frost further puts these last two lines, “ What but design of darkness to appall? If design govern in a thing so small.” Which signifies how this dark design of nature was created; who is behind this diabolical act? The heroic couplet and the deeper meaning that is behind it connects everything in this poem towards the end. This established a strong poetic piece which gives readers a sort of experience in which they learn from and produce scenarios in their head that is similar to these poetic issues.

  2.   Stephanie Simondac said:

    In “The Poetic Experience,” by I. A. Richards he defines poetry as, “the mental rattle that awakened the attention of intellect in the infancy of civil society,” in other words, he claims poetry enlightens the mind and gains recognition from the population more specifically, the youth. Richards talks about the reader’s experience requires different steps to fully understand it. He claims, “The first things to occur are the sound of the words in the mind’s ear and the feel of the words imaginarily spoken,” indicating the way the poem flows is a very important factor to consider to when analyzing the text. Another thing he mentions is, “It is never what the poem says which matters, but what it is,” this discusses how usually in poems there is another deeper meaning besides the obvious message. After reading The Poetic Experience I went back to read “Motto” by Langston Hughes with a different perspective. I realized that Hughes may be talking about something way deeper than just being kind to one another to receive kindness back, although that is also one of the messages. I believe Hughes may have had some hidden ambiguity within the poem when he says, “I dig all jive,” in order to “stay alive” because the character does not get upset over things and rather just accept it. In addition, by doing so the character stays out of trouble.

  3.   Navneet Kaur said:

    A. Richards, “The Poetic Experience” is a very interesting passage that explains a way that readers an further develop a poem. Richards indicates many useful techniques that we can utilize to gain a deeper and better understanding when reading poems. For an example Richard states “Let us begin by reading it very slowly…giving every syllable time to make its fun effect upon us…repeating it, varying our tone of voice until we are satisfied.”This made me go back to reread the poem Danse Russe by William Carlos Williams and I realized the emphasis the poet made on the word “lonely.” This word showed the conflicting emotion the character was feeling and how it just didn’t represent him being alone but it meant something very different for the character. Not only was that helpful but also when Richards stated “The reader can easily draw a diagram if his imagination needs a visual support.” This was very helpful because of the outstanding imagery that was presented in Williams poem. With this technique I was able to picture the character “Singing softly…admiring my arms..” as well as his “wife sleeping and baby and Kathleen are sleeping and the sun is a flame-white disc in silken mists.” this helped me see his life vividly. This picture helped me more accurately experience what the poet was trying to convey. Not only have these techniques that Richard stated helped me analyze and understand the poem much better but many others as well.

  4.   Matthew Outar said:

    I.A Richards seeks to unmask the hidden beauty in poetry in his chapter “The Poetic Experience”. Richards presents an argument that suggest that poets and poetry are misunderstood. On page 13 Richards introduce a metaphor to further enhance his point, “A poet in our times is a semi-barbarian in a civilized community.” I believe he asserts that the misunderstanding of poetry might lead to it being neglected as something worthy of studying. It is evident that Richards appreciates the art of poetry and he believes it enriches society with knowledge and intellect. This point is definitely relevant because the nature of poetry without a doubt engages your brain to think in a more complex way. Throughout the article it is presented that to truly value the significance of poetry you have to have some understanding of what it is. This made me reflect on the poems in the packet, at first, they were very hard to understand. However, once you take a step back you’re able to discover the importance. As Richards states, “Let us begin by reading it very slowly, preferably aloud, giving every syllable time to make its full effect upon us” (16). This made me think about when I was reading “The Pool” by H.D, this one stanza poem almost forced me to look at poetry through a similar lens. I had to slow down and think about every word and its possible significance. I believe this is what is meant by “The Poetic Experience”, when you experience poetry in this way in a sense you get a better understanding of its importance.

  5.   Rose Fattakhov said:

    Richards is a writer who wrote the chapter, “The Poetic Experience,” to speak about interesting thoughts when reading a poem. He says “It indicates that the case for poetry, whether right or wrong, is one which turns on momentous issues” (14). A line from the poem, “The Pool,” by Hilda Doolittle says “What are you–banded one?” In the poem, it seems that the speaker is trying to find him/herself. By asking this question, the speaker is looking at his/her own reflection and trying to figure out what he/she is, and what his/her purpose is. If the speaker achieves this, it is a great and momentous moment in his/her life. Also, “Poetry was the mental rattle that awakened the attention of intellect in the infancy of civil society” (14). When a person is reading a poem, it awakens their mind. Poetry can be very difficult to interpret, and the brain needs to be able to hover over each word and decipher the meaning and reason the poet decided to make use of this word. In addition, Richards are says, “Let us begin by reading it very slowly, preferably aloud, giving syllable time to make its full effect upon us” (16). When first reading the poem, I didn’t understand what the poet was saying. I saw that the poet ended the poem off with a question, “What are you–banded one?” and it didn’t make sense to me because there was no answer. But, after carefully reading it, I figured out that it was intentional. The poet was trying to make an effect. Lastly, “In poetry it matters only as a means; it directs and excites the active stream. It is made up if thoughts, which are not static little entities that bob up into consciousness and down again out of it, but fluent happenings, events, which refer or point to the things the thoughts are of” (19). Poetry comes from thoughts and emotions which the poet has experienced and placed into words. The speaker in “The Pool” is experiencing a difficult time trying to find out who he/she is. The speaker asks, “Are you alive?” It is kinda like the speaker is asking if he/she is there. The poet must have experienced this, and had to figure out if she was figuratively present. The emotions of this event helped Doolittle write the poem.

  6.   JiaJun Lin said:

    In “The poetic experience ” author A. Richards broken his thoughts in several pieces. First, imagination, he first cited a poem that contains various literary devices, he immediately explained how each word or phrase portrays objects or sceneries in his mind. “Not of words but of things for which the words stand”(18), in authors interpretation, it means that instead of seeing letters and lines, he visualizing earthly objects and living things.

    Then he talked emotional stream, and the compass and the child. What I found interesting was that simple things like a magnetic compass and a newborn child can be used as examples for deep analyses. When a person reads a poem and continues to finish it, it’s the desire that motivates and propels him/her. Like the needle on a magnetic and the needs for a newborn baby, needles point to whatever direction it desires and a baby could cry or yells to get something. “It is this incredibly complex assemblage of interests to which the printed poem has to appeal”(23), in other words, what motivates a reader to understand the poem is because of the desire to search for something, it could an answer, an object or a mere satisfaction. Lastly, author summed up the broken ideas in a short sentence, “…these words because the interests whose movement is the growth of the poem….into his consciousness as a means of ordering, controlling and consolidating”(31). Wordings and meanings in the poem can create image and manipulate a person’s thoughts.

  7.   jennifer gavilanes said:

    Matthew Arnolds way of describing the poetic experience is by different forms. He expresses that “Let us take an experience, ten minutes of a person’s life, and describe it in broad outline. It is now possible to indicate its general structure, to point out what is important in it, which features depend on which”. To me this is explaining what i did when i read the poem “Nightmare Boogie”, to focus deeply on the meaning this poem had was two things i got from it, two emotions the narrator expresses which was suffering because of how alone he felt at one point “a nightmare dream quicker than light all them faces turned dead white”. However also joy and calmness toward the end and the beginning when he stated “i could see a million faces black as me!” meaning he did not feel alone, and in the end “catgut lace” which means some type of music or violin strings. He also explains how the words in your ear that you feel and imagine the speaking as you are reading the poem to understand in another sense.

  8.   Terry Chen said:

    Like A. Richard stated, “We are reading the poem in the first place only because we are in some way interested in doing so” (24). The poem “The Pool” by H.D. caught my interest because I loved pools as a kid and I enjoyed the thought of pools. As Richard said that “Some people who read verse ( they do not often read much of it )” (20), my first impression of the poem was very vague and confusing. In the poem the first line stated “Are you alive?” (1) and with the title I got the impression of a fish in a pool. However, as I read on it said “I touch you. You quiver like a sea-fish” (2), this implies that the pronoun that the author is talking about isn’t a fish considering that s/he is using sea-fish as a metaphor. Moreover, Richard also stated that “one branch of which is thoughts of what the words means, the other an emotional response leading to the development of attitudes” (26). As I continue to reread the poem I began to learn more and understood more and my attitude of the poem changed. I began to realize the depth and sophistication the poem has to offer. I realized that the “You” in the poem was the reflection of the character and that the character was seeing the reflection as not herself but someone else, someone that was “banded”.

  9.   Jenson Hu said:

    In A. Richards, “The Poetic Experience”, he describes the poetic experience in various forms. One form is that he says “Let us take an experience, ten minutes of a person’s life, and describe it in broad outline… and how it is probably going to influence his future experience.” To me, this meant that if you take a few minutes to think about a certain topic, you could get a glimpse of what is going on in their life. This applied to me when I was reading the poem, “Harlem”, by Langston Hughes. The poem starts out with a question about what would happen to an abandoned dream, and as I continued reading the poem, the ideas of what happens if you give up a dream occurred to my mind. In the end, I felt the poem touched upon metaphors of abandoning a dream. Another way that Richards described the poetic experience was to see the general structure of the poem. On page 16 he states, “Let us begin by reading it very slowly, preferably aloud, giving every syllable time to make its full effect upon us.” This also applied to me as I read the poem because I figured that the poem had a specific structure. The structure was a question after each question. However, the questions didn’t indicate a positive context. Instead, they indicated a negative context. Richard’s poetic experience by trying to understand the general structure of the poem was one form that I used while reading my poem, and it had helped me try to understand the meaning behind the poem.

  10.   Alinoor Rahman said:

    “The Poetic Experience” by the author A Richards, is about interesting thoughts and experiences he has when reading a poem. He gave examples citing other poems that had different types of poetic devices. He described poetry as ideas that help writers express themselves through again, the use of many of these devices. Everyone had their own unique thoughts, and feelings when they read poetry as well as experiences. He stated, “Next arise various pictures in the mind’s eye’; not of words; perhaps of ships, perhaps of hills; and together with them, it may be, other images of various sorts” (18). Some people may have a stringer sense of imagery then others. He made a clear claim that “poetry is important” (15). It’s much more then just words in many cases. Take for example the poem “Not Waving but Drowning” by Stevie Smith, one may first loose at it and just see that there’s a basic rhyme scheme, and that a man is dying. This is something I first thought when I first read the poem. After reading it a couple times I realized. It gave me a lot of imagery throughout the poem in my head, considering how short it was. The line that kept giving me a dark vibe would have to be, “Nobody heard him, the dead man.” This along with other lines gave me chills at many points of the poem.

  11.   Rawdah Rahim said:

    In the chapter, “The Poetic Experience”, Richards goes into the art of poetry that is developed by the writer and analyzed by the readers. “Poetry was he mental rattle that awakened the attention of intellect in the infancy of civil society…” (13). When someone establishes a poem, the writer presents their work usually with a distinct message. But a poem can have multiple interpretations from the readers based on their personal experiences that influence may influence their views or remind them of a familiar memory to connect to. “We may best make our analysis of the experience that arise through reading these lines, from the surface inwards, to speak metaphorically. The surface is the impression of the printed words on the retina. This sets up an agitation which we must follow as it goes deeper and deeper (17). Richards expresses the importance of looking at a poem beyond it’s words because that is just the surface that is visible to any naked eye. But as readers, it is crucial that you look into a poem with an open mind to be able to dig into the deeper meaning. This concept is visible in Hilda Doolittle’s poem “The Pool”. The one stanza poem leaves everybody guessing “what are you?” (1). It is agitating to not have the amount of information to fill in the blanks and come to a direct conclusion of the poem, but it does allow the audience the opportunity to open interpretations and create a personal message that can be created from one’s experiences or beliefs. Anyone can take the literal approach to say that the author wrote about someone catching something in the water. But having the ability to analyze a poem beyond what the retina sees to understand the deeper meaning of the message is what fulfills the purpose of a poem.

  12.   Natalia Paredes said:

    In the chapter called “The Poetic Experience,” the author I. A Richards states several ideas about poetry interpretation. He describes poetry as a uniquely ordered representation of a state of mind, this means that while trying to interpret it, people must try and look through it instead of only looking at it. Richards presents a very interesting point when he says “ it is never what a poem says which matters, but what it is” (31). This is crucial to have in mind while trying to interpret poems like “To a Snail” by Marianne Moore, because some of them do not address their theme directly, but use objects or in this case, an animal to prove a point. Also, Richards emphasizes the importance of the “sound of the words ‘in the mind’s ear’ and the feel of the words imaginarily talking” (17). This means that the words used in a poem were chosen because those words specifically helped to convey the message the author was trying to share. In Moore’s poem the language used, gave away important ideas about the authentic meaning of that piece of literature. For example when she said “a method of conclusions” or “a knowledge of principles” her word choice gave the readers a clue that pointed to the real meaning of the poem. Richards also mentioned that it is important to know what kind of poem is, is it one that appeals to your emotions or is it one that just informed you.

  13.   Jason Jiang said:

    A. Richards, “The Poetic Experience” is a passage that explains how a reader can look deeper into a poem and allow them to fully immerse themselves into the poem and states the importance of poetry in the modern era. On page 17-18 he says, “The surface is the printed words on the retina” which is the words that the poet is reading and that connects to “the sound of the words”. These two quotes are what Richard calls “The full body experience is what allows the reader to fully understand the poem, but Richard states that “many people lose nearly everything in poetry through failure to develop this indispensable and controlling reflection”. Richard gives many ways on how to fully understand a poem and in one of the poems I read called “Not Waving but Drowning” by Stevie Smith. By understanding how the tone of the poem effects the poem itself along with the language that’s used in the poem I was able to develop a deeper understanding of the poem. By noting the tone of the poem like when it says “I was much too far out all my life and not waving but drowning” I can understand that there is a bit of regret or sadness in the tone as the person in the poem felt lonely or isolated.

  14.   Wenhui Ding said:

    Through Richard’s words, I could get a deeper understanding of how I can better experience poems. It is important to first read the poem to experience those delicate designed lines. Richard mentions: “Let us begin by reading it very slowly, preferably aloud, giving every syllable time to make its full effect on us”. My understanding for this procedure is that when I start to read a poem I would start at a slow pace. So that I could keep my mind progressing at the same speed as my tongue and my mouth. As I read the poem aloud, my mind would not try to interpret actively too much in advance. If my mind works too fast, I am going to construct a solid image at my own perspective towards the poem. This would prevent me from furtherly understand the poem from the perspective of the author. In other words, If the author is pointing to a gorgeous mountain, I might see a shabby hill instead. “Bones white with a thousand frosts”. Before I have seen Richard’s opinions, I only felt that nothing special but some bones are covered with a heavy layer of frost. What surprises me is that I experience a sense of greatness and grief. When I read aloud and slowly, I feel like I stand on the wide land which is filled with endless remanents of dead soldiers. I could even feel the freezing breeze sliding pass my face. And those bones are telling their repentance about engaging in this war as if they would come back alive.

  15.   Veronica Pena said:

    In I.A. Richards’ work “The Poetic Experience” he talks about the importance of poetry in our society. He addresses the debate about whether poetry will become less important in society as times goes on or not. He answers this by showing the importance poetry holds. Poetry works to give its readers a type of experience. It has a different affect than reading a regular work. The images and tone we get from a poem is what Richards discusses makes poetry significant. Richards explains that in order to voice the reasons poetry is important one has to have “both a passionate knowledge of poetry and a capacity for dispassionate psychological analysis are required…”. A person has to view poetry differently than they do a scientific article. He further explains the experiences readers get from studying poetry. The effects of exploring poetry come from the tone the author is using. When reading poetry readers feel what the author is trying to convey. He states “It is never what a poem says which matters, but what it is”. A poem shouldn’t be read at the surface, but should be thought about deeply to truly understand the emotions the author communicates. This made me contemplate about my experience when reading “To a Snail” by Marianne Moore. Reading Moore’s poem proved a bit difficult at first but when you began to truly interpret her words one could begin to understand them. The meaning behind Moore’s poem is hidden. She doesn’t make it easy to discern what she is trying to say. This leads to a variation of perceptions behind her words. The meanings differ because of the diverse influence the poem has on the people that read it. These responses are the reason Richards says poetry is important.

  16.   Ricky Coello said:

    In Richards work, “The poetic experience”, he does an excelent job of defining poetry as something less tangible and abstract as what we precieve what words on a page ussually mean. Unlike most other litterary styles, its much more ambiguous and asking for attention,never explicitly stating what it wants to say but still making one understand what it means. When he states “the surface is the printed page on the retina.” He furthers this point, by treating poetry as some sort of concise and compact form of holding information but more importantly,emotions as well. The ‘surface’ is what it says it means, but the emotions are what it means to the reader. He also mentiones this idea when he says “Its never what a poem says which matters, but what it is.” Poetry is a rare case, as the sum of its components seperatly never accumulate to the worth of it as a whole. This is because its worth is not based of off itself alone, it is because of the human mind and its realtion to us and our experiences which really shapes how the poem makes us feel. Taking a look back at the poetry passage as well, reading “Not waving, but drowning” by stievie Smith, he utilizes these same concepts in his poem by relying on expressing a messege or emotion rather than purely imformation alone. And as the poem continues, it is the job of us the reader to accept the imformation he gives and give meaning to it on our own terms.

  17.   Anthony Gringas said:

    Richards of, “The Poetic Experience.” breaks it down entirely into subcategories. He poses a claim in which he realizes that poetry leading into modern times seems to be fading and disappearing. Even uses the phrase, “A poet in our times is a semi-barbarian in a civilized community.” Not to call them out for being different, but to appreciate the fact that there is some still willing to go and appreciate poetry for what it is. He takes individual experiences and breaks it down. He takes the “full body” or the “sound in the minds ear” of when the words come together. He claims people get too focused on the printed words and forget about the sounds all together when spoken in the mind. Next the pictures of the mind. He claims there is a process in which people imagine and picture the words into a form or scenery inside the brain as they try to connect to the words through thought. Next there are interests, these interests or reasons to read poetry at all link us to intellectual and emotional streams. He proves this with the line, “Every experience is essentially some interest.” There is always a reason for reading the poetry to begin with. Finally it subsides with intellect and emotions as how the poetry actually makes us feel. If we cannot even understand the true meaning behind the poem and break it down then we will never truly understand its purpose and true meaning. This describes my poetic experience because it also applies to me as I try to decipher and break down poetry. That’s why “Poetry,” by Marianne Moore where she agrees there is a contempt to it. However, when grasping its context completely, there is a certain emotion and sensation like none other.

  18.   kyle swedin said:

    What I gathered from the Richards piece called, “The Poetic Experience” is that poetry can leave you feeling all sorts of ways after reading it and some poetry can lead you to it while others make you want to stay away. He compares poetry to a compass and on page 21 wrote, “Suppose that instead of a single compass we carry an arrangement of many magnetic needles, swung so that they influence one another, some able only to swing horizontally, others vertically, others hung freely.” I interpreted this quote to say that poems influence each other and the people who read them. The hanging freely portion I believe can refer to poems that don’t follow the norms or patterns of most poetry meaning they are unique and can be grouped by themselves. I connected this to the poem, “Not Waving but Drowning” by Stevie Smith. This poem I think is not a free hanging poem but still captured my attention. This poem definitely has a author backstory feel to it and I think offers a lot more than what meets the eye. You are unaware if the author is the one drowning or whether or not its a mental or physical way of drowning.

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