Tag Archives: National Poetry Month

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Poetry and English Leadership Quarterly

During National Poetry Month, we will be posting poems that originally ran in one of the ten journals published by NCTE. This poem “For the students” by Emilie Lygren comes from English Leadership Quarterly:

For the students

Sometimes we sit in circles with these questions-
What are you afraid of?
Who are your heroes and why?
What do you do in your free time that really makes you free?
My students answer-

I have no free time. It is all full of work, then I take care of my little sister.
My hero is my brother because when there are guns he pushes me to the ground.
Sometimes I am afraid my mother will work so hard she will die.

They are ten, maybe eleven.

I cannot follow them home
and ask their fathers
to stop leaving,
take their books and burdens
for an hour a day
so they can go be children again.

I can listen when they speak.
I can turn their heads towards the sunrise,
then to the dragonflies hatching by the creek.
I can hold their packs while they run shouting
towards an ocean they have never seen.
I can dump the watering can on their heads
on the hottest day of the year.
I can honor their courage, and their joy.

I cannot change the world they are living into,
but I can change the world they live in
for the tremor of a moment,
the same way we all can for each other with a
small smile or knowing sigh
and the fierce act of living in the world with an
open heart.

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National Poetry Month – Dramatic Poetry

dramaticAfter looking at narrative poetry and lyric poetry, let’s look at dramatic poetry! Dramatic poetry can be thought of as any drama written in verse which is meant to be spoken, usually to tell a story or portray a situation. This type of poetry appears in varying, sometimes related forms in many cultures. Here are some resources on dramatic poetry from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org

Arguing that analysis of the musical qualities of poetry is often avoided, the author of “Learning to Listen, Listening to Learn: Teaching Poetry as a Sensory Medium” presents strategies teachers can use to help students understand how these elements contribute to constructing meaning. He relates the musical qualities of poetry to similar features of popular music. A poem from Ben Jonson is used as an example. “Finding Poetry in Prose: Reading and Writing Love Poems” from ReadWriteThink.org also highlight’s a Jonson poem.

In “Masters as Mentors: The Role of Reading Poetry in Writing Poetry” the author shares how to present well-known poems andsuggests ways students can pen their own poetic responses to them. “This technique is a wonderful way to prompt student creativity, as it gives children specific guidelines without limiting their
spontaneity.” A piece from dramatic poet Christopher Marlowe is used as one of the examples in the article.

A classic example of dramatic poetry is “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. “Reimagining Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ through Visual and Performing Arts Projects” invites students ti incorporate film, painting, performance, and other arts in their imaginative and innovative responses to a classic work.

How does dramatic poetry play out in your classroom?

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Poetry and Talking Points

During National Poetry Month, we will be posting poems that originally ran in one of the ten journals published by NCTE. This poem “Treasures” by Megan, a student working with Michelle Ambrosini comes from Talking Points:

Treasures
A labyrinth of books
Winding like a pesky garden snake
Faintly whispering to me.
My hands skim the crumbling bindings of
Words covered in inch thick, ash-gray dust
The slow, crisp crack of a page turning
Stirs the silence
The smooth sensation of paper
Tickles my fingertips as I scramble about
Plucking
Critiquing
Snatching
Treasure after treasure from its hidden chest,
My greedy eyes devouring
Every word.
An excessive pile of
Priceless words
Finally in my grasp

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Poetry and English Journal

During National Poetry Month, we will be posting poems that originally ran in one of the ten journals published by NCTE. This poem “Poetry Out Loud” by Jonathan S. Loper comes from English Journal:

Poetry Out Loud
(for Nicole Louw, 2015 Poetry Out Loud Alabama Champion)

A skinny Puerto Rican boy,
proud of his country (ashamed of his country),
confidently performs the naked buttocks of William
Carlos Williams’s “Danse Russe,”
looks in his mirror, and finds
a skinny Puerto Rican poet.
An imaginative South African American girl from
Alabama agrees (but disagrees) with a first-generation
American immigrant who remarks—sharing
his corrupted vision of politicians, businessmen,
and lovers—that Alabama is the most racist
place on earth. She voices Tony Hoagland’s
ageless speaker: “This is not a test / and everybody passes.”
The Puerto Rican boy and South African Alabamian girl
redefine American, finding a shared language to teach each other
a new way to speak—to discover on stage the voices
of poems
and Puerto Rico
and Alabama—
and unfurl in the rhythms of
poetry out loud.

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Poetry and Voices from the Middle

During National Poetry Month, we will be posting poems that originally ran in one of the ten journals published by NCTE. This poem “Jane Goodall” by a student working with Jan Burkins, Kim Yaris, and Kathryn Hoffmann-Thompson comes from Voices from the Middle:

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