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As a writer, I have a natural affinity and connection with poetry and find it connects with all aspects of my experience. For the scholar, poetry might be a science, an art, or a part of deeper enquiry into literature and our cultural capital. However, for those of us who aren’t passionate enthusiasts, it may be a different story, and so the question I ask is: “What place does poetry have in the lives of people at large?”
My immediate response is “very little” as it’s likely to have only touched most of us, in small pockets of entertainment or study. On further consideration, I think we all can connect with poetry in some way, and beyond it’s “surface level”. Whether it's a meaningful stanza, a renowned composition or favourite lyrics, the fact is poetry touches the lives of us all - creating moments of escape, insight, and inspiration.
In acknowledging the importance of wellbeing, we are encouraged to "talk" and to "Listen" more to each other. In my view, poetry plays a key part in the conversations we can have with each other, whether you are old or young.
Deborah Fance and the team at Heath Mount Primary School in Birmingham, will be exploring Poetry this Spring term. Through the platform of poetry, pupils will express and explore Feelings and Aspirations: Poems have the power to help children unlock a knowledge of the world they live in.
Recently I was approached by a friend (a qualified teacher), who was on the hunt for contemporary material/ resources, to help pupils access and engage in politics + current affairs. They asked if I had written anything suitable for KS4/5 students, which could be explored stylistically, but also serve as a springboard to wider conversations. As a result, I have written a poem called “My Politics”, a playful summary of recent events, with the hope that it might engage the disenfranchised. This has been narrated over a compilation of picture slides to compliment the story. The presentation provides a sequence of visual references of Art, History Politics, Economics, Satire and popular culture; using many little pictures to create a big picture. If you are a teacher/ school who would like to use this as a resource, please get in touch for a more detailed overview.
In sharing my passion with you, it’s my hope that it will at the very least make you smile, if not give you something to think about or discuss; the power of a poem.