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Poetry in Schools

Those of us of a certain age were brought up with poems as part of our education and odd snippets resonate time and time again on our primrose path through life. But it seems not to be the case anymore as official teaching of poetry has fallen through the gap of either being presented as museum pieces or being teacher approve "relevant", the sure sign of a crap poem.

Joseph T. Thomas writes

This certainly is the case with official school poetry for children. Of course, this mode of poetry will always have a place in the classroom, where adults often have good reasons for teaching what they teach — but ..the poetry emerging from the cultures of childhood is too often overlooked... This poetry is "turned down" and "voiced over" by official school poetry and the critical conversation surrounding it, and it does in fact exist as pragmata of the child's daily life, as a body of work that children use and manipulate generally without adult intervention, "explanation," or "reassuring placement." This poetry is the poetry of the playground.

As its production is not monitored by authority figures, poetry of the playground is often vulgar, violent, and, I might add, uproariously funny: it embodies "the renegade tendencies of [. . .] the unconscious, and the child"

Tic Tac Toe
Granny on the Loo
Did a Fart
Did a Poo
It won't be YOU

as my children chant. And yet they remember not a word of officially approved poems...

Comments

Eeny Meany Miney mo, Catcha nigger by the toe has now become Catch a tiger by the toe. When have you heard a tiger squeal?

YOU Are absolutely right, about the saliency of childhood versification; it is the apotheosis of art, as in:

A farting horse will never tire,
A farting man's the man to man to hire.

AS The mad poet Narvath will remark, in 1500 years or so (in /The Palace of Love/, as transcribed by Mr Jack Vance in 1967), in these lines -- when recited as all great verse must be, aloud -- one may indeed hear the sublime "gong of inevitability".

THEN There are the famous Upper Midwest lines of the 1930s, in American and which begin:

"Roly-poly, tickle my hole-y, sink in a slimey slough...."

HERE Is some more about it all, from the /Old Uncle Crow/ web log, at wordpress.com:

http://oldunclecrow.wordpress.com/2006/07/09/she-gave-it-a-rifle-twist/

The poem I learned at an early age from my father included

Never never let your gun
pointed be at anyone.
All the pheasants ever bred
won't repay for one man dead.

The poem I learned at an early age from my father included

Never ever let your gun
pointed be at anyone.
All the pheasants ever bred
won't repay for one man dead.

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