This is a discussion post, please make this short and not too lengthy a paragraph will be just fine.

Read the poem, “Ithaka” by Greek poet Constantine Cavafy and share your thoughts with your classmates about what you think the poem is saying (ideas) and how it is being said (form, the way the words look on each line, etc.).

Here are some notes to consider as you discuss:

Ideas

Perhaps you will find that you need to read the poem several times in order to begin to grasp its meaning. It is easy to become frustrated by reading poetry because it is not always straightforward and easily understood. It is certainly not like what you are used to reading: stories, newspaper articles, an agenda of a meeting, grocery lists, etc. Ask yourself this: if the words in this poem don’t literally mean what they mean, then how do I figure out its overall meaning? You might begin by looking for clues, and once you do this, you’ve begun to think like a literary critic. For example, look at the title; does the word anecdote tell you anything? Explain what it might be. Think about your own past experience and the poems you’ve read.

Form

Does this poem look like one you are used to reading? Isn’t poetry supposed to rhyme? Does this poem rhyme? How is the fact that the poem doesn’t rhyme important to your understanding of it? Before you answer, think about what you read and know about modernism.

 
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