Poetry is the oldest form of literature in human history. But despite it being long-established, there isn’t a solid definition of what it is.
Poetry has as many definitions as there are poets – each of them defining poetry in their different perspectives. Technically, poems are literary pieces with the nature of both song and speech. They are nearly always rhythmical, usually metaphorical, and often exhibit formal elements such as meter and rhyme.
But as regards their essence, it’s challenging to get a definition. And that is perhaps the beauty of poetry – being something that many people write but for different purposes and with different forms. Ultimately, one could say that poetry is about playing with language to share a story and carry a lesson.
Despite it being one of the most established literary forms in history, it can sometimes still be easily overlooked. With its image being complicated, most schools don’t put much force into teaching poetry to students.
However, reading poems is still rewarding and beneficial to younger audiences. Poetry for kids can be similar to a sandbox experience. They’re given toys and materials in a sandbox and the freedom to do whatever they want. Similarly, poetry is like that. Children already are equipped with sufficient knowledge in language – they are to build comprehensible sentences – and all they need to do is have fun while mixing and rhyming to create a poetic piece. Children are already imaginative enough to build their world. Poetry is just something to contain it.
Other than having fun, what and how can kids learn through poetry?
Like with other literary works, children can develop better literary skills by learning poetry. It helps shape their expressions and creativity by interpreting and visualizing stories behind poetic pieces.
And because poems have a lot of essential components involved in creating them, such as imagery, figures of speech, formats, and tones, among others, children can learn about language comprehension in a more holistic sense.
Poems can also teach them about sounds, vocabulary, imagery, tone, and more – some of which aren’t essentially present in novels or other literary works. And because these pieces are shorter, they are more engaging to younger demographics, thus better motivating them to read.
According to a clinical psychologist, Dianne Jandrasits, expressive arts, such as poetry, are essential for a child’s social-emotional development. This is because poetry can help a child empathize with someone else’s feelings and learn to understand different perspectives for different situations.
As poetry is open to individual interpretations, there’s no right or wrong answer to comprehending it. This helps educate children that people have different perspectives and help them be more patient and understanding to others.
Additionally, other than helping them understand others’ perspectives, poetry can also help children develop their own opinions. While poetry might be difficult to understand, especially with children as an audience, that’s where its beauty lies. Poetry can teach children that expression and opinion can be unique – that they have their own voice, and it’s up to them to express it.
All of this can help children be better and more open-minded individuals in society, helping them develop meaningful relationships in the future.
Poems are usually short-form literary pieces. However, despite their lengths, they are still packed with values and lessons, accentuating that a piece doesn’t need length to be impactful. This attribute can help children understand the effect of short-form language.
Nowadays, the influence of social media is prevalent. When a single tweet or a Facebook post can easily be used to destroy someone’s reputation, teaching poetry can perhaps help children understand that their words have weight. This can influence them to be mindful about what they say or post on social media.
Today’s educational system focuses primarily on practical learning – expository writing and non-literary texts analysis – thus hindering children’s active imagination and creativity. While they’re still young, it’s vital to foster creative thinking.
Creativity promotes mental growth by providing children with opportunities to try out new ideas and ways of thinking and problem-solving. Poetry can tap into this creativity since it’s all about creative expression. In poetry, you write whatever you’re thinking of in whatever way you want.
Perhaps one of the best things about poetry is that it’s subjective. You can teach a specific poem to a group of children, and they are free to learn and interpret it from different perspectives.
Similarly, if you ask children to create their poems, they can also address them in their unique ways. Allowing children to express themselves freely through poetry – metaphor, imagery, and symbolism – can foster better identity literacy. When children are still growing, giving them the freedom to express themselves through poetry can be both an educational and fun experience.
Anthology of Short Stories and Poems II is Brian Clements’ new book, continuing the adventures of Private Detective Jack Donavon searching for the person who caused his hearing loss. Jack is led back to Florida, where he meets his attacker and must fight him or be killed.
Author Brian Clements is an excellent author. He was born in Washinton, D.C. but lived in Panama for a couple of years, where he worked as an engineer and production in TV. During his stay in Panama, Brian directed various shows, including fishing, religion, and directing news. His first published book was Anthology of Short Stories and Poems, and this newest book is his second installment in this series.
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