"I think that I shall never see/ A poem as lovely as a tree..."
In my 7th grade English class, I had to memorize the classic poem by Joyce Kilmer. Honestly, the first two lines are the only I can remember now (many years later), but that poem, and the experience of learning it, made a great impression on my life.
Poetry is often a joke. Many see it as only sappy love endearments, and never take the time to visualize the words penned by the greats. They do not examine Whitman for his sarcasm, or evaluate Dickenson for her spirituality. They overlook Countee Cullen's details on the African-American experience or Claude McCay's immigrant tales. And they seldom enjoy the escape through writing poetry, a tool so important to those who do!
April is National Poetry Month. At Poets.org, you can see the details and goals of the Academy of American Poet's organization's venture, and you can also gather resources and ideas to help your students see the relevance, importance, and elegance of poetry in their own lives.
And poetry is a tool that can be used in any subject area and for any grade level. It allows creativity, while incorporating fact. And it can set the stage for great conversation and evaluation of information.
But more importantly, for me, it is the way I deal. I write, not just poetry, but to express my thoughts and my feelings. And poetry has documented my life over the years. It's helped me avoid (and eventually handle) hardships and loss, it's guided me through challenges, and it's allowed me to celebrate life's joys. Any my daughter is one of my favorite poets, never afraid to share her thoughts and feelings through pen. Her blog can bring me to tears or laughter, or sometimes both!
Hopefully, it's not a lost art! Try my Poem Templates for Any Class!