Reading Poetry: Originals or Help Sources

Modern pace of life creates a range of tasks for people to complete. Being in a hurry, men often should prioritize and decide what of businesses is worth for their time and what could be done hastily. Unfortunately, reading became one of the numerous victims of the human preoccupation. Moreover, when people are ready to spend their time reading the novels or different kinds of narrations, reading the poetry is considered the waste of time by the majority of them, including students. More often today people resort to the looking through the summary when they need to know about any masterpieces instead of reading it in original. Thus, as the response to the growing demand, Internet today is overloaded with the so called help sources providing summary and analysis of the diverse artworks. Men with the practical mindset are happy because of this, but those who look wider and deeper sound the alarm, emphasizing the crucial meaning of the reading. Thus, the paper seeks to find an answer to the controversial question whether people should bother reading poetry when they can read its critic on the help sources.  

 Poetry belongs to the most expressive kinds of art that should be read by the heart. That is why it is one of the most complicated for the readers to understand. Being guided by the individual up-to-the-minute feelings and inspired by their personal subconscious images the poets create their metaphorical messages that often could not be interpreted only by the means of decoding their storylines. In the majority of the cases, poems could be understood only through deep diving into their general poetic atmosphere implying symbolism, rhymes, and sounds. 


The help sources provide the popular and widespread explanations that often grounded on the social, political or other historical preconditions that not always reflects the author’s message. Apparently, any poem firstly is the reflection of the certain epoch with all its characteristics. However, being concentrated on classical approaches to the times and conditions of the poet’s art activity, the critiques can lose the artist’s personal reflection. Thus, trying to find the analysis of the poem So Mexicans are Taking Jobs from Americans by Jimmy Santiago Baca one can face with numerous helping sources. The majority of them claim that the poem is about “hypocrisy of the American people and their awful attitude to all Mexicans” or something like that. Widespread emphasizing of the issue’s economic perspective undermines the poet’s accent on the crucial need for human position that becomes visible at once while reading the poem in original.  Poet indeed sets the tone of his verse by the title which sounds like the undeniable fact that may promote surface treatment. However, the author questioned the title with the first phrase in the initial stanza:

“O Yes? Do they come on horses

With rifles, and say,

Ese, gringo, gimmee your job?”   

Having used such sarcastic phrases, he seems to hint on the situation distortion. Santiago Baca did not claim anything he told the reader about the hard work of the Mexicans, who were considered to be the malicious invader, comparing it with the bohemian life of Americans who are allegedly the victims: 

“…clean-suited farmers living in New York…,”

“…..Of a woman’s body bending all day long in fields”  

This refined connotation can be read almost in every next stanza. Alongside with this, the poet uses hyperbolizing as the way to reveal the true essence of the issue.  His well-chosen words such as “asthmatic leader” and “a tongue paddles through flashing waves of cameramen” emphasize unilateral inflation of the problem by the mass media and governmental establishments. The author’s indignation becomes evident in the final stanza where he uses contrasting comparison:

“Below that cool green sea of money,

Millions and millions of people fight to live”

These two lines are the peak of the poet’s emotional expression and also turning point for understanding the poem. They provoke the reader to ponder about the existence of another issue’s perspective and find the relevant solution to it. This emotional appeal could be felt only through the close reading.     

The emotional effect is the core aspect of the poetry that often overcome the contextual meaning of the poems and could not be found through the reading of the help sources. Because of diversity in personal perception imaginary used in the verse could be interpreted in numerous ways. Thus, reading somebody’s understanding of the poem can deprive the person of finding his or her individual discoveries that may bring to the society new meaning of the images that remained beyond the attention for a long time. 

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The poem The Mill by Edwin Robinson seems to be one of the brightest samples when living the characters’ worries is crucial for understanding the poem’s atmosphere and core message of the poet. Thus, a range of help sources claims that this poem is about “a double suicide” or at least an intention to commit it. My personal impression from reading a poem was a quite different. I did not find the evidence of mentioned versions. Indeed, the poem’s symbolism is intensively sinister, but it rather used to create an atmosphere of fatal life moment when something ended, and nobody knew what one should wait tomorrow. Because of this Edwin Robinson used the allegory “fear that had no form” as well as no one knows what to fear. This state of mind is related firstly to the miller, who lost his job, but it is reflected in the wife’s worries who try to predict miller’s reaction to this loss and save him from the rash actions.  The poem’s rhyme is so fluent as if hinting on the fatal coincidence when one emotion overlaps the other and each next moment could be explosive and decisive. Instead of widespread depressive characteristic of this poem, I found out the nostalgic notes expressing the sadness of losing the mills’ meaning because of progress: 

“And in the mill, there was a warm

And mealy fragrance of the past”.

Besides, the image of the water does not seem to me such sinister as it was presented in the majority of the analysis, but vice verse, it appears here as the symbol of changes. Its color is also the poet’s imaginary as well as velvet is associated with the sorrow and anxiety. These feelings are prevailing in the poem. The last two lines sound quite optimistic as well as they hint that everything back to the previous state as the ruffled water soon becomes calm, so human feelings calm down.  

The emotional appeal presented in the poetry by the means of art tools is a significant motivation for the reassessment of the eternal human being’s issues. Thus, the first analyzed poem by Santiago Baca makes the reader aware the humanity's prevailing over material matters. Besides, it calls for breaking the stereotypes and go beyond the stereotyped thinking was obsessed by the other as well as each right personal choice can change not only somebody’s life but also the social course as well. Edwin Robinson’s The Mill brings the understanding of the work’s meaning in the human life through revealing the feeling of emptiness and disappointment. Emphasizing the fatality of the moment he shows how vulnerable could be a man at this time, and he seems to call everyone be an attentive and careful one to the other to avoid the fatal consequences. Alongside with individual concern, poet revealed the fact that social stability is grounded on the happy individuals and each critical situation in society should be solved from the perspective of the personality. 

Taking into account that any art is the dialogue between the artist and target auditory, deep touch in reading poetry is the only way to hold the successful poetic dialogue. So-called help sources play the role of intermediaries that create the effect of a spoiled phone if speaking about the poems’ contexts and violate the intimacy of the communication between the poet and reader’s souls when considering the emotional side of the issue. Thus, one should bother reading poetry to find his or her individual mental, emotional, and spiritual discoveries that further become an integral part of their social position.   

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