What’s Wrong with Poetry?

I’m starting a poetry unit tomorrow. I’m angry about it, too. Angry not at the poetry (who could be angry at poetry???), but because I swore that I wasn’t going to teach a poetry unit again.

This year I was going to do a poem a day, or at least a few a week. I was going to incorporate poetry into everyday lessons. Make poetry a regular feature in class not a special unit.

Yup…you guessed it..didn’t work out. Why is it so easy to abandon poetry? Everything about poetry ties into good reading skills and to great writing skills? Of all things that I wanted to do this year, this seemed the easiest, so why couldn’t I do it? I love poetry, yet even I seem to think it isn’t important. Why?

Next year, I’m thinking about refocusing my class under a series of key life questions. Maybe that would be easier?

So much to rethink before next year. Meanwhile, I have to plan a poetry unit. Sigh…

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1 Comment

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One response to “What’s Wrong with Poetry?

  1. Poetry lovers often hesitate to teach poems because it is so hard to handle the disinterested students.

    Middle school is what I call the black hole of poetry education. The students are beyond cute children’s book poetry, but quite sophisticated enough for the deep themes of serious verse. And they are raging with hormones.

    It’s no easy job. I have had middle schoolers get excited about finding poetic elements in their favorite pop songs–rhyme, alliteration, metaphor–in Lady Ga Ga, perhaps? 🙂

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