Poetic Scansion


 This is a reading strategy I somehow came up with, following my last stroke; by last, I mean my final stroke I had before my A.V.M. was removed.

If I do have another stroke, it will almost definitely kill me and, even if it doesn’t, I figure I won’t be able see to record many thoughts I have after its damage has been dealt.

Anyway, it’s kind of amazing that I actually was able to come up with this Poetic Scansion method, at all.

What’s even more amazing is the fact that, nearly, if not, over twenty years after I first thought I was taught it, I was let know by the person whom I thought communicated it to me that he or she had never seen nor heard of it before…

There is no one else who could have let me know about it; therefore, it had to have been me who concocted it, alone; only, I forgot about the fact that I pro-duced it, even though it still remained intact.

Obviously, the reason for me to slap the method together was to be re-enabled to rejoin the poetic world, fully: as a writer and reader of poetry, not just as an admirer.

The strange thing that I realized is that, post-injury, much of my consciousness is comprised of weird mosaics of experiences, conversations, receptions of monologues and monologic internal musings that, I figure, must have come from somewhere or someone else.

Even as an undergraduate student, at several different schools, I know that I helped my dorm mates decipher poems that the meanings of, what, to me, seemed overtly obvious.

I have come to the realization that, once again, like the act of writing (post-magnanimous stroke, life threatening bout with Viral Spinal Meningitis and string of neurosurgeries) I must have arrived at my poetic scansion process, as a means to fashion and jerry-rig a springboard for me to comprehend writing more effectively.

This was at a time when my brain was amazingly inflamed and in need of alternative means for me to re-acquire receptive, communicative competence.

A.      Start off by typesetting the poem           that  you  need  to  analyze on a                 piece of paper.

B.       Number each line.

C.      Begin by making notes, accord-          ing to each line number, different    examples of figurative language.

These include: metaphor, simile, allu-sion, hyperbole, apostrophe, et. al. This can, if you ask me, be thought of as being correlative to the act of perfor-ming  an archeological dig or restoring an oil painting.

The way my mind came to this way of thinking is in that, during high school, I took Archeology and, in that class, we conducted an actual excavation, in which we were very methodical and created a semantic map of our dig site, prior to actually touching shovel to earth.

In reality, I think made the connection between Poetic Scansion and oil painting restoration or an archeological dig separately, yet, maybe, simultaneously, as well. (Weirdo Stratigraphically-hidden things can be ‘unearthed’ from the depths of many poems)

It’s my belief that, if you do good research into defining what you might find or unearth or create, before you locate it, dig it up or make it, what it winds up being will be more easily impressed upon you as being meaningful and you will be more attentive to how you accomplish what you did and will have an easier time when you try to repeat it.

The great thing is that, when you get to point that you are able to decipher metaphor, simile, allusion, et. al., really easily, and can comprehend how it works in poetic format, to communicate, you will have an amazingly easier time reading denotatively-written, factually-worded information.

In doing that, we were able to use the map for reference, before we excavated, to know where we thought we ought to dig, during the excavations we did, each time the class took place, and directly after we finished a dig, to record where we unearthed what and to allow us to know where did not need to dig, again, the next time we were on the site.

For a Learning Disabled student, going back to what he or she was writing about or reading and having things not be askew is sometimes truly difficult.

The Poetic Scansion process lets learning disabled students make progress, while producing a map in case they get lost and, coolest of all; it primes their comp-rehension abilities to dissect “the best words, in their best order”, and enables them to supercharge their potential comprehension skills, not for when they are merely reading prose fiction but, for when they are reading denotative, reality-contingent prose, as well.

The method of using a numbered system for taking notes on what exists, where, in the poem, I like to think of as a pro-cess of systematically un-painting what the artist: the poet, has word-painted on the page/canvas.

It can be thought of as a process that takes place as you are first looking at and considering a poem, while you are deciphering the poem, while you are recording your observations about it and when you are making your determinations as to what your findings could mean.

To me, it makes sense to parallel Poetic Scansion, as it is used to lessen a learning disabled student’s difficulty that is experienced when he or she is attempting to decipher poetry, with the use of the Quadratic Formula in the place of having to multiply a zillion variables and their coefficients.

A definition of any of figurative language devices should be provided:

*alliteration: the repetition of the initial consonant sound, in a line

*consonance: the repetition of consonants’ sounds in the lines

*assonance: the repetition of vowels’ sounds in the of the lines

*simile: a comparison that uses       “like” or “as”

*metaphor: a comparison, stating object is another object, etc.

There are several other figurative devices; when the individual, using poetic scansion, has the poem, typeset, parallel to where he or she is to note the location in the poem where different instances of figurative language appear, the ability to reckon how poetry is not the overly-difficult, fleeting mass of sounds that, previously, had mesmerized him or her.

The communicative, “high brow, canon” of literature might even be able to viewed more as a lamb and less as a lion, by learning disabled individuals.

01Buffalo Bill’s           01(allit.)(cons.)

02defunct                               02(dict.)

03who used to                     03(asson.)

4ride a watersmooth-silver 04(enjam.)

05stallion                05(spillover con.)



06(triple entendre) real/clay/suckers

07Jesus                              07(allus.)(apost.)

08he was a handsome man 08(con)(ass)

09and what i want to know is   09(nar.v)

10how do you like your blueeyed boy 

11Mister Death                 11(allus.)(pers.)

The reason for doing this is the fact that, when you are able to read a poem silently, read a  poem out loud  or hear a poem read out loud by someone else, there are subtle differences  in the  way you think, react and remember the wording.

Also, being able to look at and consider “the mighty poem” when it has been reduced to the sum of it parts, if you ask me, should allow you to realize that the poem, in reality, is just another bunch of words that have been assembled on a piece of paper.

This is going to act as a map for you to use when you are going back and think-ing, responding and writing about what you’ve uncovered (or discovered) about the poem.

If you are someone who has a short-term memory deficit, and I assume the same can be said to be true for people who have attention deficits, producing a breadcrumb trail for yourself that you can use to hold your place and to which you can refer back, quickly, makes it a lot less annoying and difficult.

I think it could be true to say that, through the use of this particular method for poetic scansion, an individual could be easily enabled to do the same, when he or she is reading prose fiction for comprehension’s sake.

Finally, I contend that an LD individual could use the same method for accessing the conveyance of denotative prose non-fiction, to produce a semantic map, to which she or he could refer and re-refer, until the information, endgemmed within the content, is imprinted on and affixed to the individual’s crystal memory.




7 thoughts on “Poetic Scansion

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