The Chapter that has helped me the most would have to be Chapter 6. This is because it showed me that anything could be the subject matter of a poem. It doesn't have to only have deep topics like life, love, or death. It could be about the flower outside your window or the way the breeze hits your face. Most of the time when I go to write a poem I want to write about what I'm feeling at that moment. The novel gives a technique that poets can use to demonstrate their feelings in a different way. "We're all tempted to write poems that spill out our feelings and proclaim our thoughts. And poets, of course, do express themselves, though rarely as directly as it may seem.... using sensory information and showing a sad scene allows the reader to experience sadness" (98). The poet can use different perspectives to show an emotion like William Matthews did in "Men at My Father's Funeral". Instead of just using the view of someone standing in front a coffin he described the view of someone with his back to the coffin.
The Poem "Arms and the Boy" on page 87 has taught me the most so far:
Arms and the Boy
Let the boy try along this bayonet-blade
How cold steel is, and keen with hunger of blood;
Blue with malice, like a madman's flash;
And thinly drawn with famishing for flesh.
Lend him to stroke these blind, blunt bullet-leads
Which long to nuzzle in the hearts of lads,
Or give him cartridges of fine zinc teeth,
Sharp with the sharpness of grief and death.
For his teeth seem for laughing round an apple.
There lurk no claws behind his fingers supple'
And God will geo no talons at his heels,
Nor antlers through the thickness of his curls.
This poem taught me about different kind of rhyming. I always use exact rhyming like blood, flood, hat, bat. I've never really tried to branch out and use slant rhyme like Owens did when he used blade/blood and flash/flood. The wording still flows beautifully as it's being read. The line that meant the most to me as " and thinly drawn with famishing for flesh". The alliteration used here is exquisite and really adds to the poem.