Poetry Guide: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
By Raja Sharma
Copyright@2012 Raja Sharma
All Rights Reserved.
Chapter 1: Preface
Students often find understanding and interpreting poetry an uphill task, for the allusions and references almost baffle them, however, with repeated and careful reading of the same poem, taking the help of the reference books and guides, brings them close to the interpretation desired by the poet.
With experience they begin to learn the art of understanding and appreciating poetry. They develop tact, and ironically tact can’t be taught. Guide books, notes by the teachers, and summary books, etc. are often helpful, but the differing interpretations can also confuse students. I would like to tell the students of literature that there may be as many interpretations of the same poem as desired by the reviewers and critics, but it is sometimes very surprising that not even one interpretation stands close to the one which the poet had in his or her mind while writing the poem. We depend on the guess work and through the biography of the poet, the period, the ambiance, and some other contemporary factors.