I've got a great book by Ruth Padel called, '52 ways to read a poem'.
I love teaching poetry. It's one of my Favourite Things. But the students don't always feel the same. And I've discovered that they, too, can think of lots of ways in which to read a poem. Here are 25 of them.
- with head on desk
- with head nodding involuntarily until nudged by classmate
- with head shaking from side to side in disbelief that anyone could find poems exciting
- with head in hands
- with hands on head while leaning as far back on a school chair as humanly possible without crashing to floor
- with head inside blazer, hiding from cruel fact that current poem is only one of 36 to be studied
- with fingers in ears
- with hands over face
- with hand round own neck, mocking self-strangling
- with hand over open mouth in 'no, no, don't tell me I have to write about this' gesture
- while writing note to classmate which says, 'do you know what she's talking about?'
- while writing note to self saying, 'where did I put that arsenic?'
- while writing note to Robert Browning saying 'this is all your fault, mate'
- while writing note to Mother saying 'can you write me a sick note for the next three weeks?'
- while writing Maths homework
- while writing Physics homework
- while writing any other homework that yesterday seemed difficult but today seems, somehow, like a walk in the park
- while etching 'Watching paint dry rules OK' into the desk
- while staring blankly at the page just in case there's a miracle
- while hoping for a fire alarm
- while hoping for an earthquake
- while hoping for a fully-fledged military attack on Room 3, English corridor
- while wondering what is on the lunch menu
- while wondering whether deadly nightshade is on the lunch menu
- while wondering whether deadly nightshade is on the staff's lunch menu
|Extract from school report: 'Ben has really enjoyed our unit of work on poetry and demonstrates his enthusiasm|
with regular insightful contributions to class discussions.'
Somehow I feel sure that some of my followers will be able to draw on their painful memories of poetry lessons and school and together we can get the list to 52 ....