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Effects Poems Have on People

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Effects Poems Have on People

Poems do many things for a person. The words in a certain poem can have many different affects on many different people. They can incite laughter or tears, anger or serenity, fear or reassurance, hope or despair. These feelings are unable to be helped or coached. They happen naturally and without thought. The responses that each reader gives, however, is quite different. These are thought about long and hard. They are the "whys" of a poem's affect on us. Why do they give us whatever feeling it is they give us? Why do we cry at one poem and laugh at another? Why and how do we, as the reader, get into the poem?
"The Victims," by Sharon Olds (found on page 30 of the text), exemplifies these differences well. As I read this poem, I related the poem to my own life. I reflected on how my experiences and the circumstances we see in many family situations today affected my response to the poem. For instance, my immediate idea of what was happening was that the husband was cheating on his wife. Neglecting his family for his work, and/or someo...

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