Introduction
‘One small step’
in Reading poetry
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book aims to show that the meanings of poems are hardly ever deliberately or deviously hidden, nor are they usually encrypted in poetic devices like assonance or alliteration. A poem usually passes through various stages of development as it evolves towards its final form during the composition process. In the case of Neil Armstrong's 'poem', there is no known manuscript source, so the surviving audio-tapes of the event must be taken as its equivalent moment of origin. The book also aims to show that we do not have to tune into phonetic bat-squeaks from the hinterlands of language in order to read and appreciate a poem.

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