Like a lot of people, I didn’t like poetry growing up. I did not understand how someone could write about a tree and hundreds of years later people say that the writer was actually talking about “insert a deep thought here; related or not” and long discussions, debates, and even books be written about that concept whether or not it was the writer’s intention. Interpretation – that is where I struggled with poetry.
My brother is a poet. He enjoys writing poetry and he is very good at portraying his thoughts through fewer words and complex imagery. My friend Habeeb, who I grew up in school with, is a poet. He is very knowledgeable on literature and it is reflected in his poetry styles. What I have realized is that I value poetry and can now enjoy reading it. I enjoy it most when I know who wrote it. I can discuss more complex thoughts within writing, but can definitely be more invested when I know the circumstances and person as the writer. I like the full picture of knowing the writer and their writing.
I can’t say I write poetry very much myself, I am more of a story writer. What I do like about writing is that I can put down all of my thoughts and feelings. Like I have just mentioned, I like writing because it gives me the full picture of where I am at through my writing. I have not delved into writing poetry to speak enough about it, just an occasional haiku.
I have not had to teach poetry. The closest I have been to teaching poetry is through Bible study and reading poems written throughout scripture like in Genesis, Exodus, Psalm, etc. My criteria for good poetry is very broad. I guess poetry is not any other type of writing like narratives or research, etc.
Knowing that I like being able to relate to poetry, I would do the same for my students in my classroom. I would have them read poetry from people they know, read poetry I wrote, and have them write their own poetry. Some would be funny and others serious. There is a lot of variety in poetry and I would let them dabble in a lot of different types and see which ones they like. We could have a poetry open mic night which the stool and the spotlight with everyone else laying on bean bags and such.