From THE CONGO AND OTHER POEMS:

It is the hope of the writer that after two or three readings each line will suggest its own separate touch of melody to the reader who has become accustomed to the cadences.

I feel really strange with the expression "two or three readings".

Does "two or three readings" mean read the poem twice or three times?

  • 1
    You understand this correctly. But Lindsay intends you to read the poems aloud, not just with the eye: he was centrally concerned with the phonic qualities of poetry -- note his 'stage directions'. – StoneyB Mar 10 '17 at 10:18
  • @StoneyB Then could we say something like After two or three playings, I got the basic strategy of that video game.? – Sayakiss Mar 10 '17 at 11:27
  • You could; but I think gamers would use sessions or tries rather than playings. The structure of playing a videogame is not quite the same as the structure of reading a poem. – StoneyB Mar 10 '17 at 11:56
  • 1
    The OP's example statement "two or three readings (of) each line" doesn't seem to mean reading the entire poem two or three times; instead it seems to mean multiple re-readings of parts of the poem. Unlike normal reading, poetry often uses precise words to convey specific imagery that only becomes apparent when you read and reread certain passages or parts in the poem rather than use normal 'read as fast as possible' reading that we use to get the basic idea of what is written. So my take on this is not to read it three times really fast but to read it once but pay close attention when you do. – Mark Ripley Mar 10 '17 at 12:20

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