Learning to Love Poetry

Poetry is one of those areas of language arts that is a little scary for some. Poetry is unpredictable. There is no plot line, grammar rules don't apply, and you have to look a little deeper to see "inside" a poem. However, students tend to LOVE poetry. They love it because it is unpredictable. Students see immediate success when writing poetry, especially your struggling writers. Reading poetry with your students can be a great way to learn with your students. They often have insights into poetry that you as an adult may miss. You don't have to have all the answers. There are no "right" answers in poetry. It just is. 

Mrs. Garrison was my 7th grade reading teacher. She had us memorize a poem after reading The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. I assume many read that as middle-schoolers as well. I think we are still reading it today in my district. Anyway, Mrs. Garrison had us memorize the poem and recite it for a grade. At the time, I just did what I was supposed to do. Now, I look back at that poem and see with different eyes. I didn't take the time to slow down and listen to the words. 

Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay. 

Take a minute and see if there is a poem out there that triggers a memory. You may be surprised. 

Happy Reading,


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