Saturday, January 15, 2011

Closet Poet

I was laughing to myself the other day, totally in sympathy, when I saw how the kids at school were struggling with poetry. With poetry, it either clicks right away and you get it or it doesn't and you have to struggle through. I have seen tons of kids struggle but enjoy the rewards of their struggle when they have their aha! moment. Compounding this is finding poems for a certain theme and understanding how to share and reword it into a critical essay with a reasonable amount of intelligence. Again, easy if it clicks - a real curse when it doesn't.

I was talking to a couple kids how I had had a themed poetry assignment when I was in high school and how I dealt with it. At that time, I mentioned that we also had a very small library and, unlike today, absolutely no internet for resources. Being a typical teenager, I procrastinated until I had only the weekend to do this long assignment and I had to work one of the two days at my part-time job. I think we had to find ten or so poems to use. I hit a dead-end getting poems because the library was closed by the time I was off work but I wasn't willing to call it quits - my marks were good and I wasn't willing to take a fall, especially because of my own idiocy. After a brief moment of thought (remember - time was of the essence), I sat down and popped off ten or so poems of varying lengths and styles dealing with the theme. I added made up names for the poets/authors and anonymous ones for some of the others. It was easy to write a critical review of the them because I had written them and knew exactly what the poet intended and the styles that were used! As I recall, I got one of my best marks for that assignment.

I still laugh to myself when I think of it!

(That little microsoft guy above says it all!)


  1. Haha I'm sure those kids appreciated getting pointers in contravening the system.

  2. They were grade 12's and I added a caveat to the story...that it was what not to do - Don't want encourage creativity too much...sad but true.

  3. Desperate times require desperate measures. It's hard to believe we used to have to count on library hours to get homework done. With the internet there's absolutely no excuse for not getting stuff done. Well, there is... the excuses are just more creative.

  4. As long as the names weren't willy shakespeare or yeats or blake, you were in fine territory!

    I agree these days it is so easy to find poems, and good ones, too. What an abundance of classics available, as well as new stuff on litzines. Oh to be a student again. Of course, when the power goes out...

    Love the pic at top of the birdfeeder, the way the snow lays on the twigs. Peace...

  5. I think we were far more creative than the kids are now, Cathy. They rely on technology too much. We created, drew, etc. far more and I think we retained more and have far greater attention spans as a result. I do have to envy the resources that kids have at their disposal - although sometimes I think it must be a bit overwhelming.

    Thanks for the nice compliment on the picture of my backyard feeder, Laurita.