ERIC Number: ED252878
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Case for Poetry: A Humanist's Perspective.
Hirsch, P. L.
Poetry is fundamental. As a response to reality, as an inclination of language, it is basic. If English teachers want their students to become poets or readers of poets or even imaginative and provocative users of language, they have to show them that the language of poetry is theirs, and English teachers can accomplish that task only by endorsing poetry in the classroom. Poetry belongs in the classroom as a basic skill because it necessitates a confrontation with words. Moreover, teaching poetry teaches people to read. Also, those students who are most in touch with literary tradition will be the best equipped to read the contemporary works that shape their lives. No student should be deprived of his or her participation in the intertextual dialogue that comprises the foundation of the humanities. If poetry is taught only in honors English classes and only as preparatory material for college, then only the students in those classes will be prepared to read the essays and books that presuppose an allusive connection to the past. Not teaching poetry is elitist; not teaching poetry disenfranchises part of the reading public. (Appendixes include a selective bibliography on poetry instruction, an exercise to accompany the study of sonnets, a description of a poetry project, and sample exercises for poetry warm-ups.) (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (74th, Detroit, MI, November 16-21, 1984).