I cannot say that I have had the same poetry-reading experiences as Stephen Burt. I had not considered that poetry was neither right nor wrong; I had been intimidated by poetry. Poems seemed to me to be a collection of words that came together in order to create a singular meaning, one that was always elusive for me. I had not thought about poetry as being my own incarnation of thoughts and feelings. I thought of poetry as the author’s feelings, moreover a puzzle that the reader was supposed to put together.
I liked how Burt explores poetry from the idea that all poetry can be relevant to us. The idea that poets from past and present are able to bring us to a better understanding of our mortality is something that I considered myself expect from. I had thought of poetry as a foreign language, and not a language that I should (or could) understand. I thought of poetry as some sort of lexicon to which I was not privy. So, all in all, I can attest that I have not had the same experiences as Stephen Burt when I have read poetry in the past.
However, because language is not something that I am a foreigner to, and mortality is also a close relative, I have discovered that I should be open minded when reading poetry. I need to not concentrate so much on the literary techniques of a poet, but rather on the sentiment that a poet expresses. When Burt states that many poets have written poems that they would want to hear, I now understand what this means. Poets are people, and poems are about people. Since I am a person, I am not immune to poetry. I am a person, and poetry can speak to me. Reading with an open mind is step one to understanding the impact of this particular literary style.