Delvi Wahyuni(1),
(1) English Department FBS Universitas Negeri Padang  Indonesia

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Poetry at large does not have the liberty of prose in describing experience to its fullest details. Its nature is to compress experience into compact and condensed language thus reading poetry for the uninitiated can be very challenging. For students of EFL, reading poetry in English can be a very demanding task because they have to get through double barriers, namely: the nature of poetry and English, the language it is written in, to enjoy the experience it tries to convey. Teachers of poetry are also riddled with dillemma as to make their students understand the text they are teaching. The practice of authoritatively telling students what it means will turn poetry class into a uninspiring session where students will  listen to another dreary sermon each time they attend the class and leave them  marvelling whether the teacher’s explanation is within their reach or beyond them. Moreoever, it will do them injustice because this practive will cripple them of the ability in discovering the meaning of the text they are reading on their own. For this reason, this paper proposes active reading as a strategy to help both teachers and students to prevail over challenges posed by poetry in English. Active reading involves a lot of annotating task which will help students to crack open the compact language of poetry and extend it to the extent of students discovering that poetry is just another way to communicate experience through language.

Key words: teaching poetry, EFL.

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