How to Tell a Guy You Like Him

July 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Relationships

how to tell a guy you like himWomen like to show a guy they care despite the fact that men hear words louder than action. While it can be hard to move away from cooking meals and buying him a new tie to show you care, try to find a way to tell a guy you like him that will actually let him know your feelings in his own language – English.

Say the Words

Saying “I like you” doesn’t have the same power or pressure as the more popular, “I love you.” If you’re not sure it’s love, but you’re pretty sure it’s like, feel free to blurt it out. If you’re too squeamish to say it in the heat of the moment, sneak it in while the two of you are laughing about something else. “Ha, ha – you are so funny! That must be why I like you so much!”

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Write the Words

If you find you can’t just say the words, feel free to write them. Bake him a cake the way you secretly want to, but then use a bag of candy or chocolate chips to write it out, “I like you.” Or if that seems to cheesy, write him a little note and slip it in his pocket. Or better yet, text him during the day sometime to keep it light, “You know? I really like you – let’s meet for lunch.” Men like food, and they like to be liked. It’s a win-win all around.

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Give the Gift

You’re dying to do it, so go ahead. Show the man you care. But if you’re going to pamper him, do it in a way that the message is clear. Washing his socks is nice, but it doesn’t shout romance. Buy him something totally unexpected such as chocolate dipped peppers or a new plant for his office. Since there couldn’t possibly be any other reason to send a present like that over, your guy should get the message loud and clear.

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How To Meet Women

July 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Relationships

how to meet a girl When it comes to meeting new people many men are have trouble meeting that perfect woman. There are many different places where you can start your search in order to find the one you are looking for.

Online Dating Sites:
One of the most successful methods in today’s world to meet women is through online dating sites. This enables you to search through local women’s profiles in the comfort of your own home, at your own leisure. Another benefit of this is that you can take the relationship at your own pace, you’re never pressured into anything you don’t want to do.

At first you can simply send emails to various people to get to know them, if you think you found a potential match then you can take it further in the form of instant messaging, phone talk or even meeting up with them in person.

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As you will know playing the dating game can be very expensive, if you go out and around the bars and night clubs you can easily spend around $60 a night, do this a few times a month and you are spending a small fortune and are not guaranteed to find anyone. This is where the online dating sites come in, for a fee of around $10 a month or even free in some cases, you can have access to thousands of profiles of local singles in your area. One nice feature is that you can put your profile online and single women can view it and get in contact with you if they would like to get to know you more so you don’t have to do all the work.

People are turning to online dating sites due to the convenience, you can surf day or night in the comfort of your own home. Not everyone has sociable hours of work which may restrict your social life if you work nights so dating online may seem like the only practical solution. You don’t have to impress anyone with your dress sense or spend lots of effort on picking the right outfit for the occasion.

Always be careful what type of information you give out to strangers, although you may have been chatting to someone for a while you still don’t really know them and they may be leading you into a false illusion or misleading you. Never give any personal information such as address, telephone number and especially any credit card details.

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It’s recommended that you at least try online dating, you never know you might find the woman of your dreams and hit it off right away. At the very least you will make a fair few good friends.

Local bars and clubs:A popular scene to meet new people is at your local bars, this can be a successful method in order to find potential next girlfriend but can also be very costly in the long run. It can also end up a complete waste of time as you will get talking to many women and trying to get to know them but then find out that you have nothing in common with them. The price also plays a big factor in the dating game as going out a few times a week or month, depending how much free time and active you are can easily cost well over $50 per session.

You have be willing to put the effort into your appearance in order to meet anyone worth meeting again, always take it slow and never rush into anything you may regret after. With the cost put aside the next problem is alcohol, people tend to act differently when alcohol is consumed as it has different effects on different people. It also affects your judgment and makes you choose the type of people that you think or want to get on with but have absolutely nothing in common.

The good thing about meeting new people in the bars and clubs is the fact you will be having a good time with your friends, I personally think if your looking for a long term relationship then this may not be the best method but you can guarantee you will have a good night out with your friends. It’s always best to not consume as much alcohol so you are aware of the people you meet and can make an intelligent decision on what to do next.

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How To Meet a Guy Online

July 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Relationships

how to meet a guy onlineLet’s face it!  Today’s dating world is completely different than it was in the old 1960’s drive-in movie with stale popcorn and your dad’s convertible.  Between working longer and longer hours, after work routines, and family activities, it can be hard to find someone who fits the mold you are looking for.  That is where online dating comes into play and meeting a guy online is the newest and best way to do it.

First, let me tell you that it is time to let go of any stigma you might have about dating online. It’s the 21rst century and it’s time for you to climb aboard and enjoy the ride. Plus, meeting someone online can be much safer for you, if done smartly, than traditional dating.

Here is how you can find a guy online and get your first date. It’s fast, it’s easy and you will be surprised  how effective it is. Start by realizing that you have to go to a dating site to fill out some very basic and non intrusive information about yourself. 

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After you have established your own profile:

  • Check your profile for any errors. It sounds odd, however, there are many men/women alike who say that a poorly spelled or grammatically incorrect profile is definitely a turn off.  90% of online profiles contain errors, make sure yours does not!
  • You also need to make sure that you have a great photo posted with those pearly whites showing.  Everybody loves a good smile and profiles that do not have a picture are usually ignored.
  • Don’t be shy. The internet is taking away that first awkward introduction.  You can forget about the communication barriers that have held you back before and let people know who you really are.  In other words, BE OPEN and BE HONEST.

After you have your profile:

  • Make sure that you have a great attitude towards those who try to meet you, as well as those you try to meet.  You will have more fun and you’ll meet more people by showing the great attitude that you have. Besides, nobody likes a bore.
  • You also need to make sure that you are ready for this type of fun.  Meeting someone online is definitely an easy way for you to find someone who shares your same likes/dislikes in many areas. Be prepared and open to meet someone.
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  • Like they say, "Good things come to those who wait." Don’t expect to find “The one and only” right away.  Get to know people and go on some fun dates. The more experience you have with meeting people online, the more you will understand what works for you.
  • Make yourself a goal to date 100 men. With this goal (which is easy to meet in a year) you avoid setting yourself up for failure and increase the chance of meeting Mr. Right and not just a Mr. Right Now.

Make first contact:

  • When you go to search for men, keep your initial search to your town only (you can always increase it later) Try and introduce yourself to at least 5-10 new men per week. Once you have exhausted options in your town you can increase the radius of your search.
  • After you have found 5-10 men in your area, you can then try to contact them. Send them and e mail, send them an instant message, send them whatever!  The point here, is to make contact.
  • Make a personal email template that you send out to the men you chose.  Honestly, it’s not to hard. Just write up a quick intro email, cut and copy it, then save it to your desktop. This email will help you to save a lot of time when introducing yourself to every guy you might be interested in.
  • As soon as you get a response, you need to be on the ball and respond back. Men love women who show that they are interested.  Don’t respond within the first five minutes (you are not desperate, and if you are, you don’t want them to know that) but respond back within a day or two. Ensure that your reply is at least three paragraphs long!
  • When you do find someone that you share a great interest in, make sure to set up a phone call and then a date. Do not even think about an online relationship until at least three dates.  Plan to set something up and go on that DATE!  Remember to be you and to have fun.

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How To Meet a Girl Online

July 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Relationships

how to meet a girl onlineLet’s face it!  Today’s dating world is completely different than it was in the old 1960’s drive-in movie with stale popcorn and your dad’s convertible.  Between working longer and longer hours, after work routines, and family activities, it can be hard to find someone who fits the mold you are looking for.  That is where online dating comes into play!

First, let me tell you that it is time to let go of any stigma you might have about dating online. It’s the 21rst century and it’s time for you to climb aboard and enjoy the ride. Plus, meeting someone online can be much safer for you, if done smartly, than traditional dating.

Here is how you can find a Girl online and get your first date. It’s fast, it’s easy and you will be surprised  how effective it is. Start by realizing that you have to go to a dating site to fill out some very basic and non intrusive information about yourself. 

[ad]

After you have established your own profile:

  • Check your profile for any errors. It sounds odd, however, there are many men/women alike who say that a poorly spelled or grammatically incorrect profile is definitely a turn off.  90% of online profiles contain errors, make sure yours does not!
  • You also need to make sure that you have a great photo posted with those pearly whites showing.  Everybody loves a good smile and profiles that do not have a picture are usually ignored.
  • Don’t be shy. The internet is taking away that first awkward introduction.  You can forget about the communication barriers that have held you back before and let people know who you really are.  In other words, BE OPEN and BE HONEST.

After you have your profile:

  • Make sure that you have a great attitude towards those who try to meet you, as well as those you try to meet.  You will have more fun and you’ll meet more people by showing the great attitude that you have. Besides, nobody likes a bore.
  • You also need to make sure that you are ready for this type of fun.  Meeting someone online is definitely an easy way for you to find someone who shares your same likes/dislikes in many areas. Be prepared and open to meet someone.
  • Like they say, “Good things come to those who wait.”  Don’t expect to find “The one and only” right away.  Get to know people and go on some fun dates. The more experience you have with meeting people online, the more you will understand what works for you.
  • [ad#2]

  • Make yourself a goal to date 100 men. With this goal (which is easy to meet in a year) you avoid setting yourself up for failure and increase the chance of meeting Mr. Right and not just a Mr. Right Now.

Make first contact:

  • When you go to search for men, keep your initial search to your town only (you can always increase it later) Try and introduce yourself to at least 5-10 new men per week. Once you have exhausted options in your town you can increase the radius of your search.
  • After you have found 5-10 men in your area, you can then try to contact them. Send them and e mail, send them an instant message, send them whatever!  The point here, is to make contact.
  • Make a personal email template that you send out to the men you chose. Honestly, it’s not to hard. Just write up a quick intro email, cut and copy it, then save it to your desktop. This email will help you to save a lot of time when introducing yourself to every Girl you might be interested in.
  • As soon as you get a response, you need to be on the ball and respond back. Men love women who show that they are interested.  Don’t respond within the first five minutes (you are not desperate, and if you are, you don’t want them to know that) but respond back within a day or two. Ensure that your reply is at least three paragraphs long!
  • When you do find someone that you share a great interest in, make sure to set up a phone call and then a date. Do not even think about an online relationship until at least three dates.  Plan to set something up and go on that DATE!  Remember to be you and to have fun.

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How to Become an Egg Donor

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to become an egg donorThere are countless families in the world who are desperately trying to have a baby, but struggle for any number of reasons. One of the increasingly more common reasons in the modern family is the age of the mother when its time to conceive. Older mothers have had an opportunity to build their career and experience the world, but unfortunately their eggs have aged along with them. Younger women have the opportunity to help build the family they want while making a bit of money for the time and effort spent.

Become an Egg Donor

Becoming an egg donor is not often mentioned in social circles, but donating eggs to friends, family or strangers is becoming more common as science advances and more families start at later ages. Women who are unable to use their own eggs or struggle getting pregnant sometimes turn to younger women whose eggs are younger and healthier for a donation. The donated eggs are then fertilized with the partner’s sperm and implanted to begin a pregnancy.

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The Egg Donation Process

Donating eggs is more complicated than donating sperm. Women release a egg from their ovary once every menstrual cycle, usually once a month. That egg travels to the uterus, waits to become fertilized and then leaves the body if it is not fertilized. Unlike men who can technically produce sperm until they die, women are born with a set number of eggs and those eggs age and are used overtime. At a point after the thirties, the likelihood of releasing a healthy egg that is ready to be fertilized and grow diminishes. This is why these women need your younger, healthier eggs.

To donate eggs, you would contact an egg donation agency and submit a profile. When a family who is in need of eggs decides you’re the ideal candidate you will be notified and the process will begin. You will likely be paid a portion of your fee upfront. (The total fee can easily be upwards of $6000.)

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You will be given hormone shots to encourage your body to release multiple eggs at once in the upcoming cycle. When you ovulate, doctors will carefully extract the eggs using a long needle and your job will be finished. Once the eggs have been harvested and the process is complete, you will be paid the remainder of your fee and you can enjoy that money knowing you’ve helped to make a family’s dream come true.

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How to Prepare a Nursery

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Home & Garden

how to prepare a nurseryAh, the nursery! When a new baby is on the way, the nursery presents the most fun and the most challenges. It doesn’t take long to realize you need more than a crib and a few outfits, but how do you know when you’ve gone overboard? Need to plan a nursery? Here’s how:

Pick the Room For Your Nursery

Your nursery should ideally be a room that is away from loud traffic or the neighbor’s barking dogs. You might prefer it have a western window to help your baby sleep later in the morning without the sun streaming in as it rises. It does not have to be large, but it will probably help to have a closet and some wall space for furniture placement.

Pick the Theme

How is the rest of your house decorated? Will this room be similar? Sketch out a rough plan in your head of what you would like the room to look like. What colors do you like? What kind of furniture do you need? Will the wood be dark or light?

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Buy the Linens

While it might seem like the furniture would be next, you should buy the linens. The dust ruffle, crib bumper, sheets, quilt and curtains will determine the color and overall look of the room. Neutral will suit future babies in the room, while gender specific colors and patterns can be more fun. Sheets will get the most use, so buy a few extras. Quilts can’t be used in the bed until much later, so consider buying a rod and making it a wall hanging for decoration.

Paint Your New Nursery

After you have the color scheme, buy paint and/or wall paper and get busy putting color on the walls. Remember to let Dad do the painting; pregnant women should avoid the fumes if possible.

Buy the Furniture

Now it’s time to buy a crib, dresser, changing table and any other furniture you might need in the room. Changing tables are often used only for a year or two, so it might be better to get a pad for the top of the dresser. Also consider putting a full or twin bed in the room for times a parent wants to sleep near baby. Be sure to get coordinating linens if you do get a bed for the room. The furniture may take some time to be delivered, but set it up once it does arrive.

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Buy the Rocker or Glider

You should have something to rock your baby in. Gliders are popular, and traditional rocking chairs will also do the trick. Buy one that is comfortable and sturdy. You’ll be spending a lot of time in this chair.

Buy the Decorations

Up to this point, you’ve taken care of the big items. You’ve painted, and you’ve set up furniture. You’ve got the linens. Now you get to buy decorations. Buy picture frames, rugs, wall signs or letters, toy boxes, lined baskets and anything else that suits your fancy.

Buy the Extras

Don’t forget to include the extra baby items in the room as well. You’ll need something for wet and dirty diapers, storage for clean diapers, a mobile, a place to store toys and linens, possibly a white noise machine or fan, a humidifier, and a baby monitor.

Buy the Layette

Now, it’s time to buy the layette. Layette is a fancy word for all the clothing and blankets a newborn needs. You should buy a few clothing items in the newborn size along with receiving blankets, burp clothes, washcloths, swaddling blankets and socks or booties to be ready. Be sure to pre wash all linens including sheets and blankets that will come in contact with baby’s sensitive skin.

Put Your New Nursery All Together

Finally spend a few days putting it all together. Remember to get help moving and setting up heavy items and take your time. Put the linens on the crib and hang curtains in the window. Hang pictures and place your rug. Then put the layette into your new dresser, sit in your rocker and anticipate bringing that new baby home.

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How to Plan a Pregnancy

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Family & Parenting

how to plan a pregnancyA pregnancy is an exciting time. But many fail to realize that preparing for pregnancy is as important as actual conception. If you’re ready to become a parent, here’s how to plan your pregnancy.

Prepare the Body For Pregnancy

The woman’s body should be as prepared as possible for pregnancy. She should stop taking birth control pills or remove any other chemical or hormonal birth control devices well before starting work on conception to give her hormones a chance to stabilize. This also gives the body time to clear away any lingering chemicals.

The mother should be at a healthy weight for her size for an easier conception and to ensure fewer complications during pregnancy and delivery. Regular exercise is good during pregnancy, so it is wise to be in the habit prior to conception.

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The prospective mother should also begin taking prenatal vitamins before conception. The first few weeks of a pregnancy are when these extra vitamins and minerals are most important, but often a woman doesn’t experience pregnancy symptoms until five or six weeks into the pregnancy.

Prepare the Home For Pregnancy

Is there space for a baby and all the large items that come with it? It is far easier to move before pregnancy than during it to avoid stain and stress on the pregnant mother.

Prepare the Finances For Pregnancy

Babies are expensive. While there is no perfect time to become pregnant, if you are facing financial difficulties, can’t pay your existing bills or foresee financial difficulties you might be better waiting until you are in a comfortable or stable position before conceiving.

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Prepare the Mind For Pregnancy

You should be in a steady place in your mind. A baby should not be a solution to any problems or a method to save a relationship. Both partners should agree to try for the baby before stopping birth control.

Timing of Conception

Once you are prepared, the trying can begin. This should be a joyful time, not stressful. While it is hard to wait, most couples take more than one or two months to become pregnant. If you are looking for a specific time of delivery, for example the spring, get started a bit early to give yourself some time for false starts.

While every woman is different and every lifestyle is different, fertility begins to wane earlier than most women realize. In your twenties you have an 80% or higher chance of getting pregnant easily. By your early thirties your odds have dropped to 60%, and by thirty-five you have only a 50% chance of easily becoming pregnant.

Boosting Your Chances To Get Pregnant

To boost your chances of becoming pregnant each cycle, you can monitor for ovulation using basal readings or an ovulation predictor kit. You also are more likely to conceive if you are at a healthy weight, are active, are not overly stressed and eat a healthy and balanced diet.

Timing Sex

You should ideally have sex the exact moment your body releases an egg. Since most women have no idea when this is occurring, you can chart your ovulation using a kit or your temperature to get an idea of when you should be having sex. At the very least, you should be having sex every two or three days to ensure there are sperm ready and waiting for the egg whenever it releases. (Sperm can live up to five or more days.)

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How To Choose The Right Method of Delivery

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to choose the best method of birthWhen it comes to giving birth, the parents have a lot of decisions to make about the procedure used to deliver your baby. If you have had a baby in the past then you will have had the choices just before he/she was delivered so you have a good idea on how you would like your next addition to your family to be delivered.

Many people still believe that a natural birth without any anesthetic or painkillers is the best method as it has been used since the very beginning of time and was the only method given to women in the olden days if everything went to plan without any complications. With the new invention of various painkillers and drugs which can be used in conjunction to give a pain free delivery, there is no need to suffer when you don’t necessarily need to.

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If you’re feeling brave enough to attempt to have a natural birth you do also have options, if you start to feel that the contractions are getting to strong and your unable to cope you can have an epidermal which is an injection into the lower section of your spine which will remove any discomfort you are having, this truly does give a pain free delivery. You have to be careful though because after you have dilated so much you are not allowed to have the epidermal so make your decision on how you want to go about it as soon as possible. Another method of pain relief which can sooth the soreness and make this painful situation a little more comfortable is gas and air, this has different effects on different people and you cannot tell how you will be affected until you try it. It can make people feel drowsy and feel sick in some cases

Another method of birth which is becoming more popular in today’s world even amongst some celebrities is a water birth. This is where the midwife will come out to your home and perform the birth in a pool of water. The official birthing pool’s can be quite expensive and you may not have the facilities to host such an item. There are many different alternatives in which you can consider as a birthing pool, a children’s paddling pool can be sufficient and make a great substitute. Failing that you can even perform a water birth in your very own bath tub just be sure to clean it thoroughly as a bath full of plasma would be enough to put anyone off. The benefit of having a water birth is the fact that the water provides buoyancy and can relax the mother which will make it easier to delivery the baby. This method can provide a safe delivery which will not put your health or the baby’s health in danger which is why it is becoming more popular amongst many people.

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The last method of giving birth may not be optional in some extreme cases, a caesarean section or "C" section is often used as the last resort if there have been any complications during labor which may have been over looked. A caesarean is where they take the baby out of the uterus by making an incision in the lower stomach and opening it up. This procedure can be requested if you have gone private as many women tend to have a tummy tuck whilst they are under surgery making the excess skin disappear even faster. Women see this as a viable alternative as it will reduce the pain of going through labor and having the trouble or attempting to push the baby out. The downside to this procedure is the same as any other surgery, there are considerations which shouldn’t be overlooked to ensure the safety of you and your child.

There are many advantages as well as disadvantage of each method of delivery, it’s always recommended that you seek advice from your midwife who can go through each variation of birth with you so you can take the information away with you to talk it through with your partner and make an educated decision on which will suit you the best.

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How to Choose a Name for a Baby

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Family & Parenting

how to choose a name for a babyNaming a baby is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy and childbirth. The name you select will have a profound impact on your child’s life and should not be taken lightly. To choose from all of the baby names available, consider the following steps:

Clear the Air

Be open-minded when you settle down with your significant to dream about baby and his or her name. Women are not the only ones who have ideas from childhood about what their baby will be named. The first step in discussing names is to get dreams, preferences and expectations out in the open.

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If you’ve always dreamed of naming your baby girl Samantha, but your significant other only likes creative and highly unusual names, you need to clear the air. Offer your own general opinions and the thoughts you’ve already had. Listen to his. Then put those on the back burner and work toward a compromise that suits both of you and the unborn child.

Family

Is there a tradition in your family that you would like to continue? If your husband is a junior, perhaps your son should be a junior. If girls are names after members of the family, you might prefer to follow the tradition.

Heritage

Examine your heritage. Are there specific names or customs that are especially meaningful and applicable to your baby? Is the due date on the pregnancy calendar symbolic in anyway?

Brainstorm

Use a baby naming website or book to browse through and brainstorm about possibilities. Each parent should make a list of top choices and then share the lists to look for similar or identical selections. If one partner has a strong opposition to a name, cross it off the list. Naming your child is about reaching a decision together, not forcing a name on both your spouse and your child.

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The Short List

Whittle down names until you have a short list. Then practice the names. Do they sound right with your last name? Do the initials spell anything embarrassing? Yell them up the stairs – does it fit your home and lifestyle?

You then can keep a short list until delivery or pick the name that appeals the most to both parents. If you are stuck between two names, ask a trusted friend for her opinion or use one name as the middle name.

Flexibility

Finally, be prepared to change your mind. It is perfectly acceptable to change your mind during delivery or even the last few weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes babies need names like, “Hope” or “Joy” that have extra special meaning you would never have known about before delivery. And other times you just realize that your little boy looks more like an Aaron than a Zebidiah once you’ve gotten a good look at him. Be flexible – you’ll need it the rest of your parenting career.

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How To Read a Poem

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Education & Reading / Writing

poetry readingThe first step in learning how to read a poem is to find a poem you like. An obvious observation, I suppose, but many people leave their high school English classes afraid to even approach a poem for appreciation having had the details of poetry so thoroughly beaten into them by some well meaning teacher that the beauty of the verse is lost. If you do not already have a favorite poet whose work excites you to learn more about poetry then an excellent place to start is with simply reading poetry. 

Go out and purchase an anthology or two. You can spend as much or as little as you like on a collection of poetry. The anthology itself can be as broad as a complete history of poetry including texts from every era and nation to being as narrow as a collection of poems a slam team performed in a national competition. It might be a good idea to find an anthology that includes at least one or two poets with whom you are already familiar as well. I would also suggest that some publishers have begun including cd’s of the poets reading their own works.

Read through the anthology and do not be afraid to skip a poem you do not appreciate. If you want or need capitalization and you find a poem where there in none, don’t read it. Or if you do not like free verse and prefer a poem that has end rhymes by all means read only the poems that have end rhymes. You can always return to the poems you have skipped at a later time. 

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Once you have a few poems you like and want to fully appreciate you can begin the real fun of fully reading a poem. Poetry is deeply rooted in oral tradition. Therefore, most poetry is written to be "heard." I say "most poetry" because there are some poets (cummings, for example) who played with the poetry form to such a degree that certain poems are virtually impossible to read aloud. However, when seen on the page, these poems are lovely to look at and this was the poet’s purpose in manipulating the form of the poem so that the reader would have a visual stimulation beyond the words. 

Nonetheless, most poetry was written to be read aloud and to fully appreciate a poem the reader should take a moment to read the poem out loud. Feel the words on your tongue. Notice how the sounds are either soft full of s’s, f’s, and h’s or hard with sharp k’s, b’s and p’s. Listen to where you naturally pause for breath and how this influences the movement of the poem. Pay attention to where you find yourself slowing down or speeding up. Your appreciation for the skill of a poet will grow by leaps and bounds by simply reading the poem through a few times. If you can hear the poet read the poem on a recording, try to do so after you have done this for yourself. See where your reading of the poem is different from how the poet reads the poem. 

If you suffered through those high school English classes, you are aware that there are certain poetic devices a poet uses. Such words as metaphor and iambic probably still haunt you to this day. Let me reassure you that I will not try to exhaust the lexicon of poetry terms. However, there are a few things you will find in most well written poems and looking for these elements will bring you a greater appreciation for what you are reading. 

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Of the poems you have chosen from the anthology, choose one of the longer pieces. It is easiest to find one or more of the following in a longer piece. Once you have a poem chosen, read it through slowly, looking for some or all of the following:

  • Sensory Words and Imagery: As you are reading, notice what senses the poet tries to stimulate. Does the poet describe a scene, mention a fruit, or even a season? An orange will draw up a visual image as well as a taste and aroma. A season will have a certain feel to it that goes beyond merely physical. (For instance, winter is usually associated with endings.)
  • Metaphors and Similes:  Here are two of those dreaded poetry terms you probably hoped you would never see again. Don’t run away just yet. Read through the poem you chose and see if you can’t surprise yourself by recognizing a metaphor. For instance, I alluded to the idea that winter is associated with ending on an emotional level. Winter can often be a metaphor for death but it can also be a metaphor for new renewal, hibernation. Or it can be a metaphor for the emotional coldness someone feels towards another person. Footprints in the snow may be a metaphor for the past. Look for the metaphors and similes and if you find none, don’t worry about it. 
  • Rhythm and Rhymes:  If you have already read the poem aloud a few times you will have already discovered these things in the poem. Even in free verse, the lines will have a certain rhythm. There may even be some rhyming words although you won’t always find them at the end of the line. Also look for repetition in sounds, which creates a rhythm in the poem as well. Vowels can be long or short and certain consonants, like c and g, can be hard or soft. In the hands of a masterful poet, these details will not be coincidental.

By no means is this list exhaustive but these few details are recommended as a starting point. Nor am I suggesting that you do this for each and every poem you read. It is not necessary to do these things to enjoy the poems you are reading. 

If you have the time to do so then by all means make the effort. But I am guessing that you do not have the time. Making a commitment to read poetry regularly and to pick out the poems you like most is an excellent beginning. Once you have a few favorite poems, purchase collections of poems by the poets you like best. Perhaps read a biography about the poet and find out who inspired him or her and read that poet’s works as well. Or find a contemporary poet whose works are influenced by your favorites. And, as you become more comfortable with reading poetry and appreciating the craft of the poem, I hope you will make the effort to learn more of those poetry techniques you probably hated in high school. Even if you don’t, doing the above will take you a long way in learning to love poetry.

* Footnote: I have learned that not all poets know how to read their own poetry, surprisingly enough, and their voices do not do justice to their own writing. There are, however, recordings of actors reading poetry and, because of the dramatic training these men and women have gone through, the recordings often elevate the poem to wonderful heights.

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