What distinguishes the language of poetry from other languages is that poetry says more and says it more intensely. Poetry is the most condensed and concentrated form of literature
Literature is not written primarily to communicate information. It exists to bring us a sense and a perception of life, to widen and sharpen our contacts with existence.
It is primarily concerned with experience.
Poetry as a whole is primarily concerned with all kinds of experiences – beautiful or ugly, strange or common, noble or ignoble, actual or imaginary.
The function of literature is not to tell us about experience, but to allow us imaginatively to participate in it
Two ways that literature achieves this function or by broadening and deepening our own experience.
Two false approaches to reading poetry that should be avoided are to always look for a lesson or a bit of moral instruction and to expect poetry to always be beautiful
Four questions a reader may ask to aid himself in understanding a poem
(a) Who is the speaker?(b) What is the occasion?(c) What is the central purpose?(d) How is the central purpose achieved?
The five possible central purposes of a poem
(a) To tell a story(b) to reveal human character(c) to impart a vivid impression of a scene(d) to express a mood or an emotion(e) to convey vividly some idea or attitude