Robert Pinsky's "How to Read a Poem" in Common Threads

by Jacquelyn Malone

A short essay by Robert Pinsky has universal significance for anyone who wants to read poetry. In it he explores a “mysterious frontier between the mind and the body” as you begin to allow a poem to cross the threshold from concept to intimate emotional understanding.

Check out Pinsky’s “How to Read a Poem” on page 6 of the Common Threads edition. And check out all the other information in the collection—the poems, discussion questions about the poems, writing prompts, links to videos of poets reading the poems, how this year’s poems were chosen, how to lead a discussion, and other vital information.

And check your local library or literary group for an organization near you that is discussing this year’s poems.  If you can’t find a group, lead a session yourself. Just let the publication guide you and let your local library (and Mass Poetry) promote the discussion. Or simply invite your friends for a session of coffee and poetry. The theme of this year’s Common Threads is love. That’s a theme for all of us!