Teaching people who hate poetry

I follow Anthony Wilson’s poetry blog, which arrives in the inbox of my consciousness early in the morning. I’ve reblogged his post about Teaching People who Hate Poetry because it made me laugh before I had got out of bed and reminded me of the pleasure of teaching ‘difficult’ students and the warmth and humour that can arise from their authentic responses.

Anthony Wilson

I am taking a break from writing brand new blog posts over the summer.

Instead of posting new work I am giving readers the chance to read material from the archives of my blog.

In no particular order, here are twenty of my favourite posts from the last four years.

Without doubt the most common remark made to me by teachers and trainee teachers when I conduct poetry workshops and seminars with them is that the over-reliance on analysing poems at school is the single most important factor in putting them off poems. I nod and listen and shake my head. Then I ask: ‘All poems?’ ‘All poems,’ they say.

Then I read them this, by the late Shel Silverstein.

Not Me


The Slithergadee has crawled out of the sea.

He may catch all the others, but he

won’t catch me.

No you won’t catch me, old slithergadee,


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