Poetry is a part of literature that is now going passe.
Gone were the days when poetry reading was once a part of grand occasions looking back into our Hispanic heritage. It is even getting less and less popular among students what with their current interest. Something understandable, as technology like cellphones or the computers now prove to be better windows to the world than the books in the school libraries.
This is quite sad for us, especially the teachers, for poetry is a creative excursion of the mind, a special way of expressing our thoughts and our feelings. Introducing poetry as well as pushing it to be appreciated by the students can be very demanding and present a challenge. Seeing our students enjoy and use their skills afterwards can be a very rewarding experience for us teachers.
There are some simple forms of poems that we can introduce to our students. These are the “diamante”, “cinquain”, haiku and the shaped poetry. Let’s try the shape poetry I have written. Here goes :
What is love?... A beautiful stirring of the young heart, a sudden glance, a smile, a gentle touch. The fast beating of the heart, the quickening of one's gait to see one's beloved. It's the silence shared, forgetting the time, for nothing else matter but to be with one's beloved. The sweet " I do's " Oh, love so sweet and sublime. The voice of the first born, the gentle hands clinging, caressing your face, The walks under the paling light of the moon, the moon in the warmth of the sunrise, in the beckoning shadows of the sundown, on the soft, rough sandy shore. The days, years spent together. Until the unseen moment, The sudden grief of parting, The silent tears that fell. The silence, this time so lonesome Moving on! Still a decision of the heart. It's the twinkling star giving hope... and strength creating an newer world, a newer sound of laughter, a vision of another dream. The joy in one's heart. That one secret magical, mysterious, wise, wild, funny, foolish longing. An ambitious, unstoppable, uncaring, hurting void in one's heart. The thing most beautiful, untouched, unseen, but felt. That is love The river of life.
This poem which is quite on the higher level as per comprehension, experience and interest of the students can be a good venue for literary appreciation in class. Although it will need a lot of guidance and coaching from the teachers so as to achieve the goal of making students appreciate and understand poetry. The shape of the poem suggests as it is shaped that love is like a river. As a river love goes on forever, freely, unstoppable but beautiful.
(Editor’s Note: No guarantee the poem will appear as intended by the author across different browsers. Posting above poem is quite a challenge. Just in case it displays scattered, it is how the browser renders the output. On Internet Explorer (10) and Mozilla Firefox (10), rendering was OK.)