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Jackson Pollock's epitaph encapsulates the mood of this article - "Artists and poets are the raw nerve ends of humanity. By themselves they can do little to save humanity. Without them there would be little worth saving."
The author believes the transitional power of poetry is both dangerous and necessary. This could be viewed as both for and against depending of where you start personally.
Summary - The dearth of poetry in the wider world means it is unlikely people will just come across it naturally, and it has been popular to say that poetry is dead; however, this is not true. Poetry has modernised and people are coming into contact with it in new ways.
For - Poetry can be used to express questions or feelings which students have difficulty speaking about.
Against - Consumers are overwhelmed with content. Poetry no longer has relevance or a place.
Unless educational theorists can explicate what poetry is and why it's important, it will continue to be used as a teaching aid. This is not a good thing.
For - Poetry uses daily language and speech for a higher purpose and frees students to be more involved. “Work in health and social care and prisons demonstrates how – certainly among people with a long-term history of educational “failure” – complex, rich poetry is consistently more accessible than light verse”.
Against - It does teach students attention to detail, but that is not a reason to study it. Simple light verse will do the job just as successfully.
Summary - Poetry is not taught in schools often, but where it is, finding a unified meaning is the goal, rather than the mystification of literature and the importance of personal meaning-making.
For – There are benefits of studying poetry in class which are not offered by other texts - “Reading poetry aloud in class can foster trust and empathy in the classroom community while also emphasising speaking and listening skills that are often neglected in high school literature classes".
Against – Poetry is viewed as having little value by many so creating relevance and engagement can be difficult. The difficulties outweigh the benefits - “Reading poetry is impractical, even frivolous. High School poets are antisocial and effete".