Why Poetry Is So Important – Dr. Jerry Hankins’ Blog Page

Dr. Jerry Hankins Poetry Blog

Dr. Jerry Hankins’ Poetry Blog

While you may not be able to remember many names of the poems you read in school, you can at least remembering reading poetry at some point between kindergarten and high school graduation.  In a world where math and science skills are in high demand, it’s easy to forget the important role poetry plays in education.

Poetry helps children want to create something.  There is an apparent rhythm and beat to most poetry and, while this rhythm might not be as musical as children are used to, they will recognize it and are likely to become intrigued by it.  They will start to question the rhyme and syntax and structure and why certain patterns fall the way they do.  At this point, writing becomes less like literal written words on a page, and more like an art form that is appealing to children who have never dealt with poetry before.  Even if children do not understand all of the words in a piece or the meaning of a poem, they will still start to analyze the structure of it.

While often thought of as something associated with literature or poetry, critical analysis is an extremely important skill to have even for basic writing and editing purposes.  There should always be some sort of flow to a piece of writing.  While the structure of different texts or papers is bound to vary, poetry can help children realize that an absence of some sort of textual structure—even a structure that is intended to break the rules of grammar and punctuation—takes away from a piece of writing.  Honing critical analysis skills through exposure to poetry will increase children’s future abilities to read critically, edit, and ultimately develop their own overall voice and writing style.

Writing also helps children share their ideas.  Poetry lets people express themselves individually while simultaneously realizing that they are part of a bigger community.  Children, especially ones who may have experienced something negative at a young age, need to be able to express themselves, share their feelings, and hear other peoples’ stories as well. In a similar way, if a child is overjoyed, he or she should be able to find a way to communicate that as well.  A few lines in a poem can completely change the way a person looks at an experience.  Because of this, poetry is often seen as something that promotes learning and personal growth.

Ultimately, poetry creates a space for speaking and listening.  It can be used as an outlet for overwhelming emotions, as an aid to children on the path of self-discovery, or act as a learning tool for enhancing academic skills.  Poetry can help children introduce themselves to their classmates, explain a feeling, share a story.  Math, science, and general writing skills are important, but poetry needs to have its place in schools as well because it gives a form of personal expression to children and helps them to better understand the different people and  events in world around them.