Is it complicated to understand poetry?

By Ximena Reyes

It is said that poetry is the art of the word, and how can we not believe it if there’s no better way to convey ourselves than using words? Poetry is a creative manifestation, a way to sense reality and express our feelings. It is a language that can be demonstrated with literary devices such as prose and verse.

World Poetry Day is celebrated every March 21 to commemorate and support the linguistic diversity and expression. It is a day to honor poets, promote reading and writing, begin to create, and increase the visibility of poetry in the media, although we must remember that it can also be done any other day. All this with the purpose of enjoying the words captured on paper or recited by someone.

Reading poetry is a habit that provides benefits. Poetry manages to infect us with joy, make us feel different emotions, and can even help us de-stress. For that reason, if you want to start reading poetry or find new techniques and perspectives to take interest in this literary genre, we tell you how the Argentinian poet Tes Nahuén, also journalist and the creator of a literary blog called Bestia Lectora, invite us to approach the world of poetry in the following way: 

Perform two types of complementary readings:

1.   General (understanding the format of the book and the author’s intentions): Perform an analysis to identify the themes that the poet wanted to address and get to know the type of voice to approach the idea of the book.

2.   Individual (understanding each poem as a unique artifact): This is done from one poem to another, keeping in mind each poem as everything, analyzing the details of each image or verse. 

We should know that to understand a poem we must dedicate time and more than one reading, Tes Nehuén recommends:

1.   Perform a first superficial reading, to get in touch with the book.

2.   A second reading to understand the rhythms and rhymes that the poet chose.

3.   Do a third reading to go deeper into the words, tones of the same phrase and, if possible, relate your own experiences to that poem.

4.   Read that poem again. Enjoy it and understand the author’s ideas while embracing your emotions.

Finally, we leave you the title of some short poems that we recommend if you are just entering the world of poetry: “Despedida” by Alejandra Pizarnik, “Desvelada” by Gabriela Mistral, “Las seis cuerdas” by Federico García Lorca and “Amor” by Salvador Novo.

From our library we recommed: La costumbre del vacío by Adriana Dorantes, El silencio es un animal by Jesús Sánchez and the three volumes of Nido de poesía. An amazing approach to contemporary poetry and some powerful poetic voices that exist nowadays. 


  1. Nehuén, T. (2015). Aprender a leer poesí­a sin morir en el intento. Poemas del Alma. 
  2. Los 40 mejores Poemas cortos (de autores famosos y anónimos). (2022). Psicología y Mente. 

Día Mundial de la Poesía. (2022). UNESCO.