Recitation of a Poem

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Poetry is the art of expressing oneself and allowing their feelings to flood onto a piece of paper. However, the way that reader chooses to interpret and recite a certain poem is entirely determined by personal preference. Reciting a poem, though not easy, rather meticulous, is a journey all in itself that presents struggles as well as surprises. In the poem, I Close My Eyes by David Ignatow, appears easy and empty at first but with research and time, each word has a meaning of its own. Often times, choosing a poem is a struggle for me because I am an extremely literal person rather than being abstract, but through time and preparation, the recitation of Ignatow’s poem has been perfected through the journey I have taken.

At first, I felt as if the meaning was missing in Ignatow’s poem and was struggling to come to a conclusion on the hidden meaning in the text. Ignatow was born in the hectic city of Brooklyn, New York, directly outside of the financial capital, New York City. Ignatow was the son of two Russian immigrants and as he grew up, he watched his parents struggle to get by in life. As Ignatow grew up, he acquired many jobs at once for the good of his family. Low class jobs of a shoe salesman, vegetable clerk, and an apprentice in his father’s bindery all helped contribute the normal city life for an immigrant family. He was doing all of this out of the goodness of his heart even though it was expected of him. In the poem, Ignatow talks about how he keeps and order and does everything because it what is expected of a human being of his kind. What Ignatow is doing is considered the “good” nature that is expected of all but merely done by few. The main focus of Ignatow’s poems was on the life of urban workers and the struggles they faced.

In the poem, there are certain key phrases that stand out and cause the reader to question a certain phrase’s importance and how the poem’s meaning would be affected if it were nonexistent. For example, in...
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