Should teenagers be taught how to write poetry?

This is the place for readers of poetry. Discuss poetry and literary art. You can also discuss music here, including lyrics. Also, you can discuss poets themselves, in addition to poetry.
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Do you think that poem writing requires skill?

Yes...
155
77%
No...
34
17%
I am not sure...
13
6%
 
Total votes: 202

The Bookaholic
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Should teenagers be taught how to write poetry?

Post by The Bookaholic »

Poetry has been such an important part of human history for many years. Poetry has preserved folk lore and songs that would've otherwise been lost. Bards were the pop stars of their day and the gift of eloquence was prized. The development in poetry has posed deep question such as can poem writing be taught?

Is the ability to write beautiful poems inherent or is it somethingt that can be taught at school? I feel that poetry writingrequires some basic skill but can be developed like anything else with teaching. I feel that as well as learning about poems written in the past, teens should also be taught how to write poetry and the value of enjoying a good poem.
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Rebecca8
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Post by Rebecca8 »

I guess poetry is one of those things that comes naturally and cannot be taught. You just need to have a strong command on the language in which you are writing poetry.

FNAWrite
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Post by FNAWrite »

Should students be taught how to sculpt or paint so they can produce masterpieces of graphic art?

As far as i know, there are more people who write poetry than there are who actually read and enjoy poetry. We have plenty of people writing poetry.

IMO it is not something that can be taught - that is to say the craft of poetry can be taught, but not the art.

How like summer, love.
After sweltering passion
autumn must arrive.

I could be taught that 5-7-5 was a format.

Madcap Syzygii
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Post by Madcap Syzygii »

I believe you can teach the rules of poetry to anybody, but as for teaching how to write poetry, that is impossible. Poetry is an art, and you can't teach a person how to paint, or to draw, you can merely help them to become better! :mrgreen:

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Book_lover_CA1
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Post by Book_lover_CA1 »

I agree with the above poster.
Poetry is an art.
You cannot teach it.
It's not like learning mathematics or English grammar.

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Jsalgado97
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Post by Jsalgado97 »

Poetry is something that you can not learn, you have to be born with it. In my opinion, the school systems ALL around the world should teach the history of poetry.

Poetry background, history, and elements needs to be reborn in the hearts of everyone!

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Post by FNAWrite »

"Poetry background, history, and elements needs to be reborn in the hearts of everyone!"

Why? As I noted above, we have more "poets" than know what to do with themselves, so we don't need to be taught about poetry to write poetry.

Why should anyone, except those with an interest in the subject, learn the history of poetry? Of what use or import can such specialized knowledge be to most men or women?

-- 26 Dec 2013, 17:54 --

"Bards were the pop stars of their day and the gift of eloquence was prized"

So greatly prized that early poets were blinded to keep them from freely leaving their home village. Considering fringe bemefits like that, a wonder it ever caught on.

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Post by Fran »

I agree a poet is born with a talent but the nuts and bolts of poetry can and IMO should be taught. You might say we have more musicians that we can shake a stick at but does that mean we should not teach music? The purpose of education is to draw out and develope inate talents and to foster their development. How would I, for example, know what a sonnet is or the characteristics of a sonnet if I hadn't learned it in school. Knowing what it is and the characteristics of a sonnet does not, of course, make me a poet!
We fade away, but vivid in our eyes
A world is born again that never dies.
- My Home by Clive James

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Post by FNAWrite »

"does that mean we should not teach music"

As far as I know, many school systems no longer teach music.

If you were inrterseted in poetry or perhaps just an avid reader, you very likely would have learned what a sonnet is just by living life. I was never taught poetry and I know what a sonnet is. I also know what pantoums and villanelles are, not because I was taught, but because I was interested in poetry and found out. Only found out in the last 15 years or so, but better late, eh?

So knowing what a sonnet is, its characteristics- how has that been , how have you applied that knowledge? Being able to say "That's a sonnet."?

I agree with some in that knowing anything is better than not knowing it, but some, say famously at a reading site Sherlock Holmes, believe that filling one's brain with miscellaneous information uses up intellectual power best applied to other subjects.

When I was in school, not only was poetry not taught, neither was black history. I happen to know a lot of American black history and some African. Because I was interested I read in that field. I would in fac putt my knowledge of black istory up against many who have been taught it in school. One doesn't need school to develop one's fields of interest.

My only point is that poetry is not something that should be required learning. Ohter fine arts are not required learning. There is no reason why all childrern should be taught theater arts. The same shoul;d be recognized as true for poetry.

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Fran
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Post by Fran »

@FNAWrite
I don't know where you live but certainly here music is taught in school, both classical and modern, as is drama, art, various sports etc etc
IMO a child should be given an appreciation of as many art forms as possible in their formative years - they then have sufficient foundation to enable them to choose their preference or their inate talent becomes apparent.
As someone once said "education is a light load". I agree, of course, that extensive reading will gain you a wide knowledge of numerous subjects but not everyone is a prolific reader, especially not every young person, unfortunately.
Personally, I have zero poetic talent. But, I love poetry, and have loved it since I was first introduced to it in my earliest days in infant school ... when I certainly did not know what a sonnet was!
We fade away, but vivid in our eyes
A world is born again that never dies.
- My Home by Clive James

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Born1984
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Post by Born1984 »

From personal experience i got into reading poetry when i was told Kurt Cobain's lyrics were poetical and as a teen a could deconstruct it without much help from teachers and went on to love Poe, Blake, Shakespeare etc. My point is that teenagers need to be reached on their level for instance rap is considered the poetry of the street and while there are many who a monkey would not call poetic there are some who are poetic so IMO teachers need to start with what the students are most interested in and work from there on up.

As to teaching teens to write poetry, everything taught today must be able to be graded.When i was training as an actor in drama school the administration was always trying to get the teachers to grade or quantify our excercises and performances which is in most ways subjective much like poetry so even if you could engage students enough to write poetry how do you grade it without crushing those who may work very hard but still not be able to get the hang of it

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Post by Mom2Grey »

Nope.
That sure was a time waster for me.
Kids should be taught how to read, interpret, and understand what the poet is trying to say though.

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Post by Doc Foster »

We should all learn why to write poetry.

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Post by goldenmountains230 »

I believe teenagers should be taught the different types of poems and about each of the different existing poets so each teenager has the ability to develop his or her own style in poetry through the gift of learning.

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Post by GliddenBooks »

Despite the historic value and importance that I personally assign to poetry, my answer to this question is undoubtedly, "Yes!!" As a professional counselor, I find poetry and music, among other things, to be an invaluable outlet for personal expression, which is needed throughout life, and a skill that is unknown to many unless highlighted or specifically introduced at some point in time. We live in a world where teenagers in particular, are capable of accessing a multitude of external stimulation on a whim; as a by-product, the urge to consume versus create seems to be flourishing in today's youth. The phenomena is also at risk of taking a toll on the overall individual ability to synthesize and express inner change and emotion for generations to come. With the current societal gravitation away from placing emphasis on the arts and many existing programs experiencing difficulty with continued funding, poetry is one of the few expressive tools still being taught, to at least some extent, in the American public school system. Keep poetry alive and foster teenagers ability to articulate, after all, in a time when video games, iPods, and social media take precedence, perhaps poetry can give teens a tool to deal with reality in the minuscule amount of time that we can maintain their attention while they're unplugged.

-- 25 Jan 2014, 16:53 --
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