GAMSAT Section I: Reining Your Metrophobia

Published: 19th November 2009
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Are you one of those who just panic at the very sight of a poetry based question? Well, do not press the panic button yet because this article may just help you to improve your poem comprehension skills. Once you have had your grasp on your metrophobia (fear of poetry) you will surely be able to tackle such questions in a much more logical manner. You will have to master this fear if you are planning to sit the GAMSAT because poetry based questions are not uncommon in GAMSAT Section I.



But how do you overcome this dislike or phobia of poetry? The first measure would be to look up some simple poems that are comparatively easier to read, like the poems of Wordsworth or other English romantics. When you go through these poems try to find out what the poet is trying to convey through his verse rather than being involved in finding the meaning of each and every sentence. Issues like the mood of the poet, the theme of the poem and the tone of the poem can be understood by the holistic approach. When you see than you can get the answers to these issues, go through the poem once again. This time you will see that the picture becomes more clear. This time you can even chance upon some underlying meaning and there is nothing more like it! While reading the poem also acquaint yourself with the different figures of speech used by poets to portray their feelings. A handbook on figures of speech will surely help you to get the subtleties of poetry right. Often you will find questions in GAMSAT Section I related to these topics. And who knows, one day you might fall in love with poetry and write a verse or two yourself?



Once you are comfortable with these poems, which you will soon be if you try earnestly, you can try out more complex poems like the ones by Victorians, Modernists and Postmodernists. It will be a lie if we say that you will get a hang of these poems in one go because these poems generally have multiple layers of meaning, especially Modernist and Postmodernist poems. But all is not lost because surely the meaning of the poem will not elude you after 3 or 4 readings. But you might ask me that how can you afford 3 to 4 readings while you are in the questions in GAMSAT Section I! And the answer to this will of course be 'Practice Makes a Man Perfect.' The hint and tips that have been mentioned here must be utilised when you are preparing for GAMSAT Section I. If you practice enough questions you will see that with time you have become more comfortable with this area of literature and take up questions based on poems much more confidently.

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