Thursday, October 09, 2008

National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day, as decreed by The Poetry Society.

To coincide with the event, in The Daily Telegraph, Poet Laureate Andrew Motion considers the importance of poetry and the ways in which it is taught at school.
How was it for you, learning poetry at school? People tend to answer in one of two ways, depending on age.

Those whose education is a distant prospect are inclined to say the experience stood them in good stead and has since become a source of silent comfort and entertainment. Those still in school, or who left more recently, generally make a face: learning poetry is boooring.

Why such a difference? Is it that poetry works slowly in a lot of us, proving its worth as our experience deepens and widens? Or does the whole business of memorising have a bad reputation these days? Both answers have an element of truth, which in the case of the second is deeply regrettable, since it implies a confusion of "learning by heart" with "learning by rote".

1 comment:

  1. Tom,
    That's a very good question you bring up. Personally, I only enjoyed poetry that rhymed when I was in school. All other forms seemed long and pointless (and at the age I was, impossible to understand as well). But now, having grown up a few years, I've come to find poetry a beautiful thing. Like art with words, really. I don't know what changed my perspective; perhaps the simple act of maturation.
    I think you'd like this post I found on National Poetry Day:
    Cheers to good writing!


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