Thursday, October 22, 2015

On the Popularity of Poems

It fascinates me to see what students decide to do when given choice. Of course, you have to stand back and allow them to make those choices...and get the subsequent consequences of those choices. You try to help them to see the best course of action, but it is always better to let these growing people ultimately make those decisions for themselves.

Thus we come to Poetry Response #2, which was just due this last weekend for my AP Lit students. I was very surprised to see so many people choose Margaret Atwood's tiny poem, You Fit Into Me--just four lines of poetry. The jaded teacher in me wants to analyze this and say my students were just being lazy and choosing the shortest poem. Or maybe they chose it because I had told them that it didn't get chosen very often. Or maybe they all got together and decided to do the same poem. Who really knows?

I find very short poems very difficult to analyze though. I hope my students experienced that too, hopefully not to their detriment. When you are analyzing it is better to have more content to work with. I don't know if I would have chosen a four line poem just because of the difficulty inherent in filling an entire page of analysis. I don't know if I would have had enough to discuss. The brevity makes this poem difficult.

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