Here are some of my favourite poems found on Instagram that I have shared, or would want to share, with my students – and I recommend you share them with yours. I’ve added ideas for discussion questions right below the poem.
1. Unnamed Poem by Diana Levy
- How has the poet personified nostalgia?
- How has the poet used the five senses to create evocative imagery?
- Describe the memories of your childhood.
- Which sensory images would you use to capture your country?
2. Have You Ever Noticed by Rudy Francisco
- Comment on the form and structure of the poem (title, punctuation, stanzas, etc.)
- How has the poet personified water?
- What is the lesson conveyed through the poem?
- Can you think of another lesson that one can learn from water? (e.g. its flexibility, transparence, life-giving nature, its paradoxical calm and force, etc.)
3. A Letter to the Playground Bully by Andrea Gibson
- Comment on the title of the poem and how it relates to the content.
- What is meant by ‘reading between the lines,’ and what information about the poet can we glean from reading between the lines of this poem?
- What kind of people does the poet’s mother describe? Explain the metaphor of heartbeats used here.
- Do stereotypes affect our self image – how?
4. The Problem of Writing Poems in the Shape of Deciduous Trees by Brian Bilston
- Comment on the shape of the poem.
- Why can we still read the poem in spite of the missing letters?
- Where is the poet? How do you know?
- Make a list of the missing letters. Where have they gone?
Do you use poems in class? Which poems do your students read and like?