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Hello,poem!

2019-04-02 胡莹莹 Lauren 西外小初高双语国际课程部

 

Students have studied contemporary poets like Elizabeth Jennings (In Praise of Creation) and poets of a more classical persuasion like Alfred Lord Tennyson (The Kraken) in order to gain a rounded understanding of how words can be strung together to create mood and tone within any style. Students have been encouraged to view the study of poetry as more than a theoretic practice. They have been challenged to explore the theme by listening, speaking, reading and writing about the poems and their thoughts and feelings on the authors. 


The listening, speaking and reading components have urged students to think about the rhythm of the poetry, to explore the sounds made by the devices they have studied in their theory. They have also made emotional connections with the poetry by producing dramatic pieces, recited to music. They have shared these pieces and learned to critique the work of their classmates, constructively. 

 


The writing section of the course is, undoubtedly, the most challenging one. Student are expected to produce well rounded essays discussing, from a critical standpoint, the poems we have studied. The structure is rigid and requires students to constantly reinforce their writing by providing evidence or explanation. They are encouraged to question their own opinions with regards to the evidence available, to use the emotional understanding of the work to support answers and keep within the confines of the questions being asked. 


The biggest success of the course has been the poetry written by the students themselves. The poems are the accumulation of weeks’ worth of careful study. Having looked at how structure, style, mood, imagery etc, can alter the overall effect of the poem, students were asked to write and edit their own poetry. The result was phenomenal, a true sign that the structure of the course has been highly effective. The students discussed their writing process and the most commonly shared sentiment was that it just “came to me”. They had taken the theory on board and thought critically about an abstract idea, without much effort.