People worry about metre, rhyme, scansion, references, form, so many technicalities. They worry about not knowing much about them, or not knowing what they actually are, what they 'mean', or how they're defined. There's some kind of instinct with poetry, I think. And it's okay to leave the technicalities, just as much as it is to know a lot about them, to appreciate them, to be learned about them. Only it's not always needed, not if you're reading poetry in bed, a couple of poems a night, before you switch off the light. Why not concentrate on the poem, the sounds, the pleasure you can derive from it?
I'm going to just write, write, write, some sorts of questions or wonderings which I find myself asking about poems when I read them. No doubt you'll have your own, if you do read it.
- Does it make me laugh/ cry/ almost cry (ie. particular ear ache)/ uncomfortable?
- Does it linger in my mind, even when I try to push it to the back because it's making me uneasy, because it's taking up my concentration, making me lousy company? Does it take up even more space, demanding thought, demanding mental space when I try to ignore it? Does it refuse to be ignored?
- Do the sounds echo in my mind; the patterns, the variations allowing it to cement easily?
- Are the words, the punctuation, the language, exciting? Is the poem as a whole exciting?
- Am I compelled to return to it?