- What is a given poem about?
- What happens in it?
- What exists in it?
- If too little of the world is in it, why is that?
- If all the world is there, By what miracle has this been done?
- Is tragedy or comedy at work, and what is the difference between those two, and what the resemblance?
- Are the facts of life accounted for in the unique way that poetry accounts for them, and is this poem something therefore that any man should read?
- Does its author know more, not less, than most men know?
Friday, May 30, 2008
The Questions to Ask about Poetry
Happened to run across the following questions you can ask about any poem while reading Mark Van Doren's The Noble Voice, and related them to my English students. They're quite good: