How to Nurture Love for Poetry #NationalPoetryMonth

Symbolism and words

Poetry is said to be good for the soul, as it soothes our emotions, helps us dig deeper into  thoughts and dreams and makes us discern the aesthetic pleasures around us. If you avoid poetry and prefer thrillers, probably you have never been exposed to the love of reading a good poem.

Nurturing the love for poetry starts in childhood. If you are a parent, read a poem everyday with your child. Ask the child what s/he likes about that poem. If the child likes it, don’t hestitate to read it everyday but add another one. Begin with simple and short poems.

Encourage your child to collect little poems and make a scrapbook. You can browse poems for kids online. Think about your favorite poets and poems you liked as a child or as a youngster. Share those thoughts with your children or siblings. Discuss what makes you like poetry.

Encourage your child to write a short poem. Bette A. Stevens offers excellent guidelines for writing haiku (an unrhymed poetic form consisting of 17 syllables arranged in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively.)

Why is poetry disliked? Whenever this question haunts me, I try to look back to search some answers. The only poetry we were exposed to in schools, was the rhymes and that too in Kindergarten.

While reading story books is stressed upon but good poetry books are not easily available. Either they haven’t been written or their level is too high to be understood by children.

Some poems that we meet in textbooks fail to inculcate the love for reading of more poetry though ‘Mr. Nobody’ stayed in my thoughts and I love it even today.

Here is the fun poem: I wish more such poems could be written!

Mr. Nobody

I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody’s house!
There’s no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr. Nobody.

’Tis he who always tears out books,
Who leaves the door ajar,
He pulls the buttons from our shirts,
And scatters pins afar;
That squeaking door will always squeak,
For prithee, don’t you see,
We leave the oiling to be done
By Mr. Nobody.

He puts damp wood upon the fire
That kettles cannot boil;
His are the feet that bring in mud,
And all the carpets soil.
The papers always are mislaid;
Who had them last, but he?
There’s no one tosses them about
But Mr. Nobody.

The finger marks upon the door
By none of us are made;
We never leave the blinds unclosed,
To let the curtains fade.
The ink we never spill; the boots
That lying round you see
Are not our boots,—they all belong
To Mr. Nobody.
– Walter de la Mare

Whenever a door squeaks, I think of Mr. Nobody!

Poems for children and middle schoolers have to be short and simple. The following poem by Robert Frost could speak to them if imagery is explained by the teacher:

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
– Robert Frost

Love for poetry is also connected with how well the poems are taught by our English teachers. Some just read them and inspire children to analyze. While it may be good for developing critical thinking, discussions have to follow to share the opinion of others.

Creative writing workshops in schools that focus on poetry writing develop sensibilities at an early age. Do you have any memories of writing poetry in your school?

In honor of National Poetry Month, two of my poetry books are being offered for just 0.99 cents. If you love poetry, grab your copy now. Thank you. Please share this post at your favorite social networks.

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26 thoughts on “How to Nurture Love for Poetry #NationalPoetryMonth

  1. I think when poetry is taught in school, they want to make it cryptic, symbolic etc. and often the poems are over the children’s heads. It would be nice if teachers addressed the emotions of a poem instead. My 8th grade teacher played us a song “I am an Island” by Simon and Garfunkel. She wrote the lyrics on the black board then played the song for us. It was a really appealing way to think about poetry, verse. We then got to talk about how the words of the song made us ‘feel’. That’s my earliest memory of poetry in school and it’s a good one! Thanks for sharing Mr. Nobody…I loved it!

    1. That reminds me of a lesson given by one of my professors who taught us how to teach poetry. He taught “Soldier, Soldier, won’t you Marry me” by John Langstaff and I can never forget how interesting he made that lyrical poem but the inspiration to teach poetry like that got etched in the minds of students.
      I agree with you Lisa, the emotion within the poem must be addressed. Thanks for sharing your lovely memory.

  2. Happy National Poetry Month, Balroop! Each of our tastes in reading books differs from Romance to horror much like poetry. There is someone for everyone in poetry and when we find it we understand.

  3. I enjoyed poetry as a kid because my mom loved poetry. I also had a teacher who had a passion for poems and would share his favorites with us. I was lucky. I loved the poems you shared. Thank you for the lovely post, Balroop. Have a safe and happy weekend!🥰

    1. I didn’t have any access to poetry as a kid Vashti yet I don’t know how I developed a love for it. I often say I must be born with it 🙂 Teachers do play a significant role in nurturing the love for reading and you are definitely lucky that you had poetry lovers around you. Stay blessed.

  4. Perfect post for National Poetry Month, Balroop! Your theme of poetry and children is indeed a wonderful one. You’ve hit all the highlights by explaining the benefits of poetry reading and writing for children and so much more… I love “Mr. Nobody.” Sharing and wishing you a blessed and beautiful National Poetry Month–may your wonderful poetry books zoom off the readers around the globe! ❤ xo

  5. A very valid question. While the kids are introduced poems in early age, all of sudden it is taken away once they have learnt words. I guess the idea of exit of poetry is not a good idea. Continuation will definitely help in raising poetry lovers.

    1. Poetry has always been neglected at school level and that’s when reading habits form. Parents too have to keep this in mind and read simple poems to their kids. Now it’s so easy to browse poetry online or search for kids poetry books. 😊

  6. I think you’re right, Balroop, that a love of poetry starts in childhood. My grandson loves Shel Silverstein, and your post reminded me to purchase more poetry books for him as he ages. Mr. Nobody is great. I printed it off to send to him during this time of hunkering down. Thank you, my friend. Be well. ❤

    1. Some poems are timeless Diana, Mr. Nobody is one of them. There’s another one: My Mother by Ann Taylor, simple yet profound. Thank you for being a lovely friend and above all a wonderful grandma. 🙂

  7. I love that sort of rhymed, fun poetry that doesn’t make me think too hard (especially now). So nicely done, Balroop.

  8. Happy National Poetry Month Balroop. I remember loving to write poems as young as 6 years old. The fire was stoked. 🙂

  9. Wonderful authors of poetry shared here Balroop… Poems have always been part of my life from a young age I loved the poems of Wordworth.. And delighted in the Host of Golden Daffodils… I encourage my nine year old granddaughter to write poems, and I hope I have ignited a spark within her to continue enjoying creating them..
    Happy National Poetry Month dear Balroop… Keep inspiring us with your beautiful words my friend. and take care in these strange times which surround us all.. ❤ ❤

    1. Thanks for coming over to read and share your views…should I call you Moriaus? Welcome to Emotional Shadows. Poetry is all about emotions and I’ve discussed it in many of my earlier posts. 🙂

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