Rising to the Challenges

Robyn Sarah
“Ask the Poem: On Teaching Poetry”
Little Eurekas: A Decade’s Thoughts on Poetry

To inspire the kids, I brought in sheaves of my own favorite poems to read aloud. Teachers’ jaws dropped at what I passed around to their second and third and fourth graders: poems by Emily Dickinson, e.e. cummings, Wallace Stevens, Theodore Roethke; translations from the Russian of Yevtushenko, the Spanish of Garcia Lorca, the Hebrew of Yehuda Amichai, the Chinese of Tu Fu. The kids loved it. They picked up poetic figures instinctively and put them to immediate use in their own poems. They surprised themselves, their teachers, and me.

Wonderful anecdote and telling succession of those that become amazed: the kids, the teachers, the poet (me) and us (me).

And so for day 2954

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