To start, this is my 20th blog post! Wow, that went by fast.
This week is all about poetry. I learned a lot from these two reading tasks this week, but the second article stuck out to me the most. Specifically when the author discusses flopping a poetry assignment in her high school class when she was a student. I can’t remember being taught poetry in elementary, middle, or high school. The only experiences I can remember with poetry was a college class I took that was all about creative writing, the first half of the class being solely poetry. This was terrifying, the “fear factor” that the author of the second article talks about. It is a difficult task to interpret and write your own poetry, especially if you were not taught at an early age. As the author of our first article says, one of the major genres of literature is poetry. So, why then, is poetry not taught more intensely at the elementary level?
In the second article, our author mentions a student named Jordan. Jordan was said to be in 3rd grade and poetry is quite a new concept for him and his peers. Our author mentions that young students are not as afraid to go for it and dive into writing and imitating poetry and certain poet’s styles. Our author found this to be true with Jordan, as he dove in and wrote his first poem about Thanksgiving and turkey. Though the poem was not perfect, he knew the basics about formatting. Poems are not written like stories or essays, the paragraphs are not the same. After learning a poem about “The Third Eye” Jordan took pieces of the poet’s writing style to create his own poem about his third eye. There are clear differences between his first and second poem, proving that he is taking into consideration what the poet has done and using his own creativity and imagination to build upon that foundation. This brings us to Jordan’s remarkable third poem. He imitated a poet’s numbered stanzas and, while still talking about Thanksgiving, he was able to incorporate many adjectives and different events, such as a parade and a pet lion. He used repetition and repeated the words “yellow” and “lion”, along with many other, which is another style of poetry that he dove into. What wonderful growth for a third grader! If only we all had experiences like this in elementary school, maybe teachers today wouldn’t have that “fear factor” about teaching poetry.
Poetry is a creative outlet. There is no right or wrong thing to write about. By reading the imagination and creativity that our students put into their poems, adults can become inspired to devise their own. Poetry is all about interpretation, this is something that both authors in both articles talked about and it is important that our students learn that. We can use poetry to talk about real controversial issues in our society today and let our readers interpret what they will from it. Our poems on these issues can take a light-hearted or serious route, but still convey the same message. To me, poetry is like a song. Though there are no literal instruments, there is rhythm in the way the words are placed and through the choices of words the author chooses. There is a wonderful quote, “when words fail, music speaks.” This is a quote by Hans Christian Andersen and I think it fits beautifully with poetry. “When words fail, poetry speaks.”
Poetry is inspiring. Poetry is creative. Poetry is like music in the sense that it is like a universal language. It can speak about love or hate and be interpreted in numerous ways. What better a lesson than poetry to teach our students about issues in the world? Let them analyze and interpret the words with a teacher’s assistance, and maybe we will all lose that “fear factor.”