in Reading poetry
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This chapter looks at Vicki Feaver's 'Ironing', Charlotte Smith's 'Middleton Church' sonnet and Roy Fisher's 'Sign Illuminated', trying to say something specific about poetic meaning. The success of the poem as a whole depends upon the complementary fusion of the 'showing' part in the main body and the 'telling' part towards the end. The extent of the reader's enjoyment and grasp of the poem will have a lot to do with appreciating the means and skillfulness of that fusion. The two aspects (telling and showing) are equally important to the construction of the overall poetic effect, even though they are not of equal length. The poetic effect as a whole is tightly shaped and crafted by the poet, and it is natural for poetry readers to be curious about how that process works.


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