Is Poetry Really Worth It?

April is Poetry Month, but as a language arts teacher, I know that amongst language arts teachers, there's a dirty little secret, especially in the secondary... we tend to relegate the poetry unit to the end hoping that we've run out of time. Have I exposed a nerve?
Am I talking about you? Am I bringing up your own schooling demons? Have you analyzed poetry to death only to be told that you're way off base? Are we guilty of doing the same in our own classes? Have we just totally killed poetry for the next generation?
April is the month to go back to your childhood and remember what you liked so much about poetry. No one reads a poem like "There Was an Old Man of West Dumpet" to a child then has that child analyze the motive of the old man. Poetry is to immerse yourself in sound and emotion and imagery and taste the words as they're going in your brain and coming out of your mouth.
There was an old man of West Dumpet,
Who possessed a large nose like a trumpet;
When he blew it aloud,
It astonished the crowd,
And was heard through the whole of
West Dumpet.
--Edward Lear

The blog post below has some easy ways to study and "analyze" poetry again without killing the joy. Check it out and let me know what your favorite poem to use in class is.
How to read a poem

Some of mine are on my school blog


Popular Posts