what is poetry?

Is it it a story that’s just really short,

Or a picture painted with words?

Is it writing for lazy people

Or for those that like to use long words?

Is it just for people who like Shakespeare

Or can anyone hold poetry dear?

I absolutely love to teach poetry and I get so upset when I tell students that we are doing a poetry unit and they all just roll their eyes at me. But I can understand that reaction because we are conditioned to think poetry is just for people who quote Shakespeare and don’t own a TV.

And I think that the way to get people to at least be open to poetry is to frame it right. Most people like pop songs or some form of visual arts, and poetry can be likened to either one of these. I just need to find the right words to pull them in.

I saw the quote above when I was scrolling through Twitter and it just made me chuckle. It’s spot on and I would be interested if a teacher framed it in that way.

Unfortunately, I have the feeling that most of my students would look at me blankly if I were to tell them this was what poetry is. I can already hear them asking me ‘but Miss, who is the man on fire?’

Much Love

Rachel xx

2 thoughts on “what is poetry?

  1. Margot Kinberg

    I know just what you mean about poetry, Rachel! Too many people equate poetry with Shakespeare; and, although he did write poetry of course, so much else is also poetry. I once had a student who shared poetry with his students by introducing them to some (family-friendly) rap songs. They knew the songs, and instantly made a connection. So I love your idea of using pop music lyrics. It really could help students make those connetcions.

  2. crispina kemp

    I wouldn’t call myself a poet, though I do pen the odd poem (usually very odd). And I too tend to roll my eyes: Poetry isn’t for me. BUT, there’s that one in a hundred that catches me and stirs me deep, that maybe echoes my feelings, tell it better than a story could

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