General Help, Problems & Gripes

On this page you’ll find some of the answers I’ve given over the years to questions raised by teachers and by students. I hope you may find them useful.

The perpetual cry of the desperate student: What Does it Mean?

And, perhaps even after some further perspiration: I Don’t Get It!

What do they mean by Personal Response?

Thoughts on poetry by Poets and others:    POETS and OTHERS on Poetry

What terminology do I need to know?

What is a Sonnet?

PEOPLE WRITE POETRY BECAUSE THEY WANT TO! (And they don’t expect people to have to study it)

It’s worth putting this observation in front of your students:

The interesting thing about poetry is – people write it because they want to, not because they have to.

OK – that’s not entirely true.

  • Students may be asked (requested/required/instructed/told) to write poems.
  • Some poets might feel they have to write some more poems because they are a poet and their publisher wants another collection. But why did they start writing poems in the first place? Not because it was going to bring them riches (unless their work got into the GCSE syllabus of course – but that’s another story.)
  • Poets Laureate probably feel they have to write poems. It’s a responsibility that goes with the job.

But there are a LOT of POEMS written every year, every week, every day. They are written by LOTS of DIFFERENT kinds of PEOPLE. They don’t have to. They just want to. You can’t say that about many other types of writing.


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