Tag Archives: teacher tip

Poetry sucks! …decidedly so

26 Jul

Well, if that’s the case…

What happened to the apostrophe and s?

In the words of the tragic Hamlet: to be or not to be… or in the words of ill-spoken teenyboppers: it boring or it not boring…

That is the question.

Poetry comes in all shapes and sizes, topics, techniques – there is a massive, vast array of options. It is like someone saying they don’t like art. This type of person isn’t your average Thomas Kincade hater, they despise Picasso’s starry night, Dali’s weird-o alternate reality, children’s first scribbles, graffiti, napkin doodles, the lot.

Types of poetry (how many do you hate?):

Sestina
Villanelle
Sonnet
Haiku
Limerick
Acrostic
Diamante
Jintishi
Ballad
Ellegy
Concrete
Tanka
Ode
Ghazal
Free verse
Nursery rhymes
Songs – yup! Even the latest from Beyonce.

I am certain that the students polled who ‘hate’ poetry cannot define more than three from the above list. But… If you have made it up in your mind, decided with resolve beforehand at some undetermined moment that you will not enjoy poetry, how will you ever know what fun you could be had?

A way back into poetry

HOT TEACHER TIP: One of my favorite poetry exercises is to have each student write some obscure one-liner on a piece of paper. All students pass the paper along the row. The next student writes another obscure one-liner that rhymes with the first line. Then they fold it over covering the two lines. Finally, they write one more line that does not rhyme. The paper is passed again and the action repeated. Eventually you get a full page of rhyming couplets that leave the students in stitches laughing at what silly and odd things they can come up with, if they just give their minds a chance to be free and be goofy.

I always tell my students that I love poetry because there is no wrong answer.

But if you hate poetry, Mary had a Little Lamb, napkin doodles, rhyming words, children and fun, then poetry is not for you. For this reason, poetry sucks.

 The score

 Poetry sucks: 2

 Poetry rules: 4

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