So, you are reading the poem, aware that a line is not necessarily a sentence – which is a complete thought.
If the line turns, you are still following the sentence,
Aware that many – but not all – poets capitalize
The first letter
Of the next line, and
That the sentence will stop. It might stop at any point
In the line. You follow the sentence,
And when you comprehend the first.
You go to the second, understanding that and how
The first sentence informs the second and
The second the first,
Then you’re getting the verse! Get me?
Reading a sense poem is much the same as reading a paragraph, except the poet is going to dance the language; he or she will turn the line, slip in time, add color, shift from the literal to the figurative. It’s a mental challenge: are you up for it?
For the scholar-athlete or warrior-poet, explain that reading poetry is a sort of mental negotiation of an obstacle.