April 1, 2012

Happy National Poetry Month!

I would be remiss not to recognize the start of a very special month, so I wanted to drop in to wish you each a very happy National Poetry Month!

Now, I'm gonna bet that many of you aren't big poetry people. For some reason middle school and high school can do quite a dozy on a person's love of poetry, which is such a shame. I'm assuming that some teachers put such an emphasis on "what it all means" instead of allowing students to just experience a poem and dig through it themselves. It's a very fine line, as an English teacher, that I have to walk to still get kids to sort through the "lit-ness" of a piece, while still allowing them to enjoy it for what it is. Maybe you could argue that you can't fully enjoy it for what it is without knowing it's lit-ness. You're free to have your own opinions, but poetry is pretty cool in my book. If you haven't read a poem recently, you might want to start today! 

I wanted to share with you a few resources that are pretty awesome when it comes to cool poetry and cool ways of learning more.
  • Poetry Foundation: Poetry Foundation is an amazing resource that categorizes poems by subject to help you find exactly what you want.
  • Poetry 180: Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins edited a collection of young adult friendly poems so students can hear the fluidity of poetry instead of how complicated it can be. This is a phenomenal collection and my go-to for students!
  • These collections edited by Garrison Keillor are the best and super easy to read.

    Here's one of my favorite poems from E.E. Cummings that is pretty easy to read. Cory and I used this poem at our wedding as part of our favors (mini Composition books)!
    i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
    my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
    i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                      i fear
    no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
    no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
    Now go read more cool poetry! yay!

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