Select Page

Teachers often find themselves struggling with techniques to generate interest in poetry. In pictures, we often see some teachers being very spontaneous when it comes to conducting poetry classes. This leaves many wondering how such an enterprise is possible. Such teachers can be found not only in pictures but also in the real world. Poetry is usually the result of intense emotions and thoughts, which combine in the form of imagery, metaphors and evocative words. The cognitive and the affective domains converge at the point of words. This convergence strengthens the linguistic ability to the extent of surprising the poet concerned. It is of utmost importance to spot the interests of learners. Without sufficient excitation, poetry would be seen as pedantic and something of an art confined to eccentrics with esoteric interests.

To break this spell, tutors and teachers need to conduct a study of poets. They would find that many poets are not made by formal education but by passion. However, passion is often confused with emotional rupture, which is actually different. The difference lies in the fact that an emotional rupture is not channelized creatively and there is no real convergence of the cognitive and the affective domain. In order to effectuate this convergence, the individual learner concerned has to think and feel with the same level of intensity. This equivalence in intensity is what leads to a creative form of expression.

Then it is also important to not expect learners to read a lot before writing. It is rarely uncommon to find that individuals write poetry and then start reading to nourish their vocabulary and innate talent. This may appear to be working backwards but a tutor would realize that it is not. Rather, the individuals prefer to get involved in the activity in order to experience it as a mental event. The only way they learn is through active participation. This approach holds true for reading poetry as well. If one dislikes poetry, it is also because one finds that it involves effort. In the case of music, the sounds reach the ears without effort. In the case of poetry reading, the learner feels forced to look sharp at the text. This can put him/her off. Therefore a tutor would do well to read poetry aloud with harmony to students and record the reading. Let them listen to the recording as they would to music. Have some background music during the recording. This would help in establishing connection with poetry as a linguistic activity and would also give students a sense of rhythm of sound. Online tutoring has the advantage of technology to make poetry happen spontaneously.