ERIC Number: ED198542
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Breaking the Poetry Barrier: Towards Understanding and Enjoying Poetry.
Brindley, D. J.
Poetry presents serious difficulties to students. Many poems students are asked to study were written during eras with social mores, modes of thought and expression that are now unfamiliar. Often the sentiments expressed in poetry are discomforting or unfamiliar to students, though the greatest poets express universal ideas and emotions with which it should be possible for them to identify. Poems often deal with geographical or social settings alien to the students' experience. Perhaps the greatest barrier to understanding poetry, however, is its elliptical, metaphorical, and highly allusive language. There are four methods teachers can use to overcome these barriers and help their students achieve a greater interest in as well as understanding of poetry. The first method is to stress enjoyment and to teach poems at the appropriate maturation level. The second is to offer a wide range of both old and contemporary poems, but ones that are easily understood, and are relevant to the students' background, experience, or attitudes. The third method is to relate the fundamental human concerns that many poets deal with to the students' lives, and the fourth is to present poetry through media and methods that provide maximum student involvement and interest. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Conference on the Teaching of English (3rd, Sydney, Australia, August 17-22, 1980).