• Damini Rathore

Let us understand poetry better

Poetry conveys multitude of stories, some are direct while others are to be found beneath the overt meanings. I understand, not all of us have been introduced to the intelligent conversations that a simple poem can undertake. We thus, assume too little of it.

Poetry is full of symbolism. The art itself offers the poet and its readers the liberty to make it personal to them. I am sharing my kindle notes to show you a glimpse into a few little, yet trivial details that you might have overlooked.



1. "I created one but it gets recreated manifolds with every reader" (Author's note)

As you go ahead, you would see that at many places punctuation in poems has been intentionally eliminated to incorporate incompleteness or with the purpose of skipping definitive meanings. This was purposely done to allow the reader with the freedom of interpretation and perspective.

2. "ENIGMA" (Chapter 1)

The poem 'Enigma' is about stagnancy and inactivity. She talks about how much she misses her work, her poetry, outside world, her adventures, flights and many more. She directly addresses you and explores her art and fantasies in the process of the long conversation that she undertakes. For her this confusion is not a strange encounter. She has been through this emotion before and dealt it. She justifies her response as natural and normal. She feels confused and stuck and wishes for her best version to return. To get your acceptance and acknowledgement she presses on how individual differences are normal over fostered societal norms and similarities. By the end of the poem she finds her flow and begins to deliver her story.

3. "Quieter than the rustling dry leaves" (Chapter 1, poem Enigma, stanza 4, line 10)

You would notice that the similarity that she tries to draw is actually a paradox. She finds quietness in the rustle of dry leaves, which may suggest the onset of autumn after which the winters would follow.

4. "still not sure" (Chapter 1, Poem-Enigma, Stanza 7, Line 2)

Here, look back on how she started the poem. The difference is very small but a marginal addition of self worth and confidence is noticeable.

5. "I HAVE MISSED THE BEAT" (Chapter 2)

Notice the absence of punctuation. Frost's concern for loss is immense and her urgency to rejoin her belongings is depicted by her shorter lines, simple and usual images, and also she maintains a tone of informal speech to strengthen association.

6. "SOMETIME BACK" (Chapter 2)

In it explanations culminate into words which may literally or symbolically represent the sentiments. Like here Caesar is used as a symbol of ambitiousness.

7. "I am lost" (Chapter 2, Poem-Sometime Back, Stanza 2, Line 1)

The slight discontinuation suggests a pause. And the following stanza is addressing the themes from the stanza above.


This poem is full of beautiful images but do not fail to miss its darker tone.

9. "disappointing hopes" ( Chapter 4, Poem-Grudges, Line 3)

It can mean that hopes are disappointing and also hopes are being disappointed.

10. "IMPULSE"- (Chapter 6)

It is a very dramatic poem. The story-line was initially about an abusive relationship and eventual discovery of gender-less love but every time I read it, it becomes much more than that.

11. "crickets" (Chapter 6, Poem- Impulse, Stanza 2, Line 3)

The presence of crickets indicate a more assuring and protective environment or feeling.

12. "That morning So I offered it, My warmth In an impulse" (Chapter 6, Poem- Impulse, Stanza 3, Line 6)

I did not add a full stop because it is yet not complete. It felt like it was beginning from there.

13. "IN DISGUISE PER DEIM" (Chapter 7)

This poem is flooded with heavy vocabulary to suggest the age and maturity of the woman whose love story it is about. This can be established by noticing the difference in Frost's introduction and later Old Woman's narration. I got the idea of this poem from a real life experience with an old marwari woman who narrated me an instance from her life. I understand marwari pretty much well, it is my mother tongue. But the heavy vocabulary she used was outside my ken. In her story I could only get the essence. And when I introspected about it I felt may be I would understand her ideas only when am her age. The best take away from her story was the essence. I wanted to incorporate the similar feel in my readers and hence, the unusual words. The essence is so compelling that you would face the urge to come back and read again but this time meaningfully.

14. "STROLL" (Chapter 8)

A walk is the best lone time we can give ourselves. It is a rejuvenating and an introspective exercise.

15. "My differences were derided and moulded into a familiar" (Chapter 9, Prelude)

Our differences make us unique. Societal conditioning is constantly moulding us into a particular kind, when differences themselves should be appreciated as normal. This poem is very direct and speaks on the face value.

16. "Penetrating characters of sleeping souls" (Chapter 9, Poem- I Am Masked, Stanza 5, Line 10)

It suggests something which is fluid and not definitive.

17. "PAEAN" (Chapter 10)

I wrote this poem in my 12th grade, at school. This was the time I was exploring newer words. I would pick words from newspapers and would practice their usage in my writings frequently. I call this poem "raw". I did make a few changes in it, to align it with the concept of the chapter but not many. I intentionally kept it raw to show that Frost is not perfect at her craft, she is practicing and continuing to struggle at it.

18. "millennium goals" (Chapter 11, Prelude)

Now, we have Sustainable Development Goals.

20. "hornbill" (Chapter 11, Poem- The Dual Keepers, Line 1)

It is culturally symbolic. Do read about the successful Hornbill conservation efforts of the Naga tribes.

21. "HIRAETH" (Chapter 12)

It is a very positive and full of hope poem. The experience of it shall always remain personal and different to every reader.

22. "Love FROST" (Chapter 12, Stanza 2, Line 2)

This entire story is a beautiful amalgamation of poetry and letter writing. Notice that the letter does not contain the addressee. Dwell a little deeper upon it and ask why.

You can post your questions in the comment section below. I will be happy to explain.



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