However, to understand poetry the reader must not go gently, but should attack. As we begin to spend time in Reading Workshop with poetry/word study, students must overcome their fears and dive into the language of poetry. Whether it be as a reader, analyzing the work of others, or when revising their own work, students must go full speed ahead. They need to take the advise given by Eve Merriam.
How to Eat a Poem
Don't be polite.
Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice
that may run down your chin.
It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.
You do not need a knife or fork or spoon
or plate or napkin or tablecloth.
For there is no core
to throw away.
What is Merriam's point? What about the poem makes you think that? What thoughts do you have when tearing into her poem?
Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/emdot/10362168/sizes/s/