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Monday, April 28, 2014

Why didn't the poet use simple language?

Today, one of my students asked me why did poets write poems in languages that were difficult for the students to understand. He said,"Why didn't the poet use simple/straight forward language?" It was a straight forward question and I tried my best to satisfy him with an answer.

I told him to compare two sentences:

  1.   "I miss you" 
  2.   "I miss you like the dry earth misses the fresh showers of spring. "
I asked him which one did he like.

He said that he liked the second sentence. I asked why and he said the second sentence was more beautiful and I asked him why again and he said because the second sentence was talking about spring. 

Then I told him to close his eyes and listen to the second sentence when I read it. I asked him what pictures did he imagine when he heard the words. He told me that he saw the rain in spring. I asked him what else did he see and he said, "flowers". I told him to imagine the rain on his face and asked him if he would like the feel of the gentle rain in spring when feeling hot. He said "Yes". Why? "Fresh feeling". 

So, I told him that the language used by the poets are far more beautiful than the other language one reads in other forms of literature. The words used, create pictures in the reader's mind and touches the soul. The images used, arouse emotions of love, romance, happiness and sometimes even loathing. In this case, the intensity of missing the other person is compared to the dry earth and its happiness when receiving the fresh showers of spring. This is a powerful image if we are imagining the words. So many emotions/feelings are aroused if one tries to imagine: dryness, heat, beautiful spring, freshness, and the gentle rain.  




11 comments:

  1. This is beautiful. Why? Because it shows how wonderful good impressions can be. It shows that one caring adult can make the world come alive for a small person. That is wonderful.

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  2. Thank you for your kind words Joylene. Teaching poetry is wonderful.

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  3. Wonderful post, Nobu sir. Nice to see you back. Hope you are doing great. :)

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    1. Thank you for visiting Langa. I am doing fine.

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  4. Great teachers can always make the students see the unseen thoughts. A nice post that describes the phenomenon.
    Teachers like are you are fit to grind the poetry and feed our children with its flour so that they can digest it easily. Otherwise, making them to eat without even realizing what they eat might cause the irresistible hiccups to the flavour of learning English.
    Enjoyed reading.....................

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    1. ...and upset their stomach haha...Thank you for your comment am glad that you enjoyed.

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  5. Beautiful post!..Keep it up sir....

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  6. Thank you Tshewang, I hope you are doing well.

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  7. The best question ever and an amazing answer too Nobu sir.

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    1. Thank you Yeesi for the encouragement.

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  8. Wonderful piece....loved it...n quite motivated cos non has asked this to me n if they do I now know Wat to sat..thank u dear..keep writing..

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