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For me, school ruined poetry, specifically years 3 through 10.
It was always forced, and never by anyone good.
It wasn't till the final 2 years that I came to have any positive relationship with language.
Did anyone else have a troubled time with the art of words?
Such a common story -- and in fact, almost the sole reason I became an English teacher in my 30s, to correct all the horrible things being done to poetry by ignorant teachers. Poetry is subversive and wonderfully seductive, so teaching it to maintain the sterile status quo is never going to be a success.
not being a regular school goer i saw little of any education, my personal knowledge of poetry in school was tiny enough to be forgotten. that said i've seen my grand kids poetry homework and after seeing it don't think they give kids enough credit to take it in. i had a bad time with words for the reason stated. i read lots of newspapers and magazines like playboy [the pics were also good but secondary ] found an old book and read through and through. i still struggle with punctuation, as for language/s i've lived in the philippines for over ten years and can speak maybe twenty or thirty words. education as ever is generaly a few years behind science and the Cretaceous perdiod

(07-04-2015, 09:19 PM)TheOnlyRedSmurf Wrote: [ -> ]For me, school ruined poetry, specifically years 3 through 10.
It was always forced, and never by anyone good.
It wasn't till the final 2 years that I came to have any positive relationship with language.
Did anyone else have a troubled time with the art of words?
For years I thought I hated Shakespeare. Then when I left school and read him for myself I realised I loved himSmile It's like that old joke about two English teachers walking in the woods. The first is so moved by the natural beauty that he's compelled to quote William Wordsworth:

"O! Cuckoo, shall I call thee Bird
Or but a wandering Voice?"

The second teacher then ruins the moment by butting in with:

"State the alternative preferred
With reasons for your choice."

To me, what's weird about how poetry is taught in schools is its relentless focus on messages and meanings, as if each poem has one which can and should be articulated at a moment's notice after the first reading.
The poems I enjoyed at school were the ones I wasn't meant to be studying. I discovered them by putting off poetry homework.

just mercedes

My father introduced me to poetry, used to read me poems like "The Wreck of the Hesperus" which we both loved. One day he told me of a poetry contest between Shakespeare and Marlowe. They had to extemporize on the same scene.

Marlowe: Down the hill, along the road
there comes a man whose legs are bowed.

Shakespeare: Ho! What manner of man is this
who holds his balls in parenthesis?
Honestly, I went to a decent high school, and I can barely remember ever studying poetry.  It was the Iliad and the Odyssey and Shakespeare (great stuff), but that was it.  We didn't even read and study Whitman, "Leaves Of Grass", and I was in a true-blue-blooded American school.

So I can't honestly say I was turned off to poetry in school.  For the most part, it didn't even exist to me.
I think part of it was the constant, you will write a poem "this way" and always with the rhyming, one of the reasons I don't do that now.
one thing i did find hard was infants school poetry even if it was only kindergarten as that's when I started to read and write english as I had been overseas up till then and spoke and read 4 other languages. it was when we got into deconstructing works that things got interesting
I can't really remember doing much poetry at school. I do know that at the age of 15 at school we read the two British War poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. I also know for certain that we read the poem 'Dulce et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen and yet it made no impact on me at all at the time. I'm not sure if it was because I was just 15 or that instead we had a rubbish teacher.

Either way I can't understand how at 15 I was not struck by the amazing yet horrific imagery used within the poem and the whole imapct and reality of war. About 15 years after that some not altogether sane man who I had only met about three times previously, somehow ended up sitting in my living room one day and out of nowhere recited word perfect 'Dulce et Decorum Est' with such amazing passion that bordered on slight madness in the way that only a true loony can manage. It was brilliant and it totally and utterly blew me away it was such a powerful experience and all of those words that said nothing to me as a 15 year old said so much now.

I still think it's an amazing poem now, in fact so amazing that for a teacher I think it would be extremely difficult to teach it and for it to have no significant impact on the people they are teaching too. So the moral of the story is to get some random theatrical mentally unstable yet scarily passionate lover of poetry to go into schools and scare the living crap out of them by reading with an intensity that redefines the meaning of intensity -- it worked for me.

The answer is always passion.