Poetry has been around for thousands of years and is still taught in schools around the world today. It’s a great way to study language and helps inspire writing and promote creative thinking among young people.
While it’s important to cover the classics like Wordsworth, Shakespeare and Carroll, it’s a good idea for teachers to consider poems and poets that teenagers are more likely to relate to and identify with.
For this year’s National Poetry Day, we have selected 6 different poems that we believe young people could relate to during a time in their life that’s filled with change:
Tim Seibles, ‘Dolores Jepps’
I don’t think I’ve ever understood
how lonely I am, but I was
closer to it at fifteen because
I didn’t know anything: my heart
so near the surface of my skin
Rupi Kaur, ‘Representation’
otherwise the butterfly
surrounded by a group of moths
unable to see itself
will keep trying to become the moth
Billy Collins, ‘Another reason why I don’t keep a gun in the house’
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog
Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise”
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Luke Kennard, ‘The Murderer’
I take the murderer for coffee.
‘Make sure you don’t murder your coffee!’
I joke. He likes my jokes.
Judith Viorst , ‘Fifteen, Maybe Sixteen Things to Worry About’
The world could maybe come to an end on next Tuesday.
The ceiling could maybe come crashing on my head.
I maybe could run out of things for me to worry about.
And then I’d have to do my homework instead
What are your favourite poems to teach? Let us know in the comments below!