Thursday, April 14, 2011

Students and Poetry

April 14, 2011 “Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.” W.B. Yeats

It's my granddaughter's second birthday--poetry alive!

And it's "poetry in your pocket day"! I hope everyone is sharing a favorite poem today. And that brings me to my query: how do you bring students to poetry without forcing it? In this day of such structured curriculum, it reminds me of a very old movie about tourists in Europe, "If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium". So if on Monday, you must be sure to cover the beginning parts of speech, on Tuesday, it 'must' be poetic devices, and then Wednesday, write, to keep on track. I realize that I'm discounting the many teachers who manage to sneak in the wonder of language, including poetry, and I know they are out there in the thousands. Recently, my grandson told me that he was studying poetic devices. I asked what he was writing. He said, "oh no, Grandma, we aren't writing. We're just learning them so we can identify them on the test."

My poem for this day:

Trying to pluck a poem

from the air

when it’s not there

seems futile,




my teacher says:

“Wednesday, 9am sharp!”

So I keep searching

for those words

up there-



  1. It seems futile sometimes, but there is always a poem lurking somewhere.

  2. Arrrrggg! Not writing - just learning them for the test!! Arrrggg! I loved the poems in pockets today though - poems as a treat, a surprising discovery, a gift. My daughter read a poem of her own out loud in front of strangers last night for the first time - what courage she and all the other young poets showed! Afterwards how they all glowed!

  3. Happy birthday! I love the terrible twos age. 2 year olds do and say the most delightful things. I swear its not necessary to have a tv at this age. Just watching them is entertainment enough.


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