ERIC Number: ED204752
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Teaching Freshmen Poetry: Is the "One Right Answer" Correct?
Beck, James P.
College freshmen often misread poetry because they cannot read precisely, because the culture and the teachers stereotype poetry as cryptic frill, or because they underread the poem's complexity of response. These problems can be surmounted by using a facets approach to discover the meaning of a poem. Facets illuminate the fact that various poems are variously both subject-matter and something else. Moving from subject-depiction to thematic concept to intrinsic artistry, they include (1) a reflection of the poem's subject matter, (2) dramatic showing of the subject matter, (3) narrative poetry, (4) theme or truth about life that the subject matter approaches, (5) preaching or teaching, (6) social criticism, (7) psychological character portrait, (8) tone, (9) light verse, (10) analogy, (11) aesthetic form, and (12) pure play. To use this approach the teacher must be absolutely convinced that a poem can mean more than one thing and that the student's experiencing of the work is worth more than mechanical reporting of what the teacher feels is the "obviously correct" facet. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A