Today I wanted to share with you our experiences of ‘Poetry Teatime’. Recently we have really been enjoying poetry, mainly classic poetry (ie. old poems) where sometimes the meanings aren’t quite plain to see.
mumlovesearlgrey got the idea for our Poetry Teatime from this post over at bravewriter.com, although now reading this post myself our Poetry Teatime isn’t much like how it is described over at Brave Writer! For one thing the post from Brave Writer says “There is no need to analyze the poem. This is a delight-driven practice. Enjoy the poem. Laugh at its humor, enjoy its rhythm, listen to the rhyme. You might comment on it, but that’s not required.” However we’ve found that discussing the poem increases our enjoyment of it. It really depends on the people taking part in your PT.
So how do we enjoy our Poetry Teatime (PT)?
On a rotation based system artybaker, mumlovesearlygrey and I (Dad has been at work for all of our previous PTs, hopefully he’ll be able to join us soon! pteroturtle does join us but doesn’t want to pick a poem himself) take it in turns to host. The host chooses a poem which means something to them, then prints out enough copies for us all to have one. Grab your pen and Poetry Teatime begins!
From here on out how the rest of the session goes really depends on who’s hosting and what they had in mind. First week I was hosting and I choose Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’. During that session we were simply discussing what we thought the poem was about, what some of the specific lines referred to, talking about the symbolism of the raven and marking of any points of interest (which turned out to be most of the poem). For the second week, artybaker hosted and she picked William Shakespeare’s ‘When My Love Swears/Simple Truth Suppressed’. She spiced it up a little bit by bringing two versions of this poem. One was published about 10 years before the other by someone who had stolen in from Shakespeare, the second was a Shakespeare approved version. Scholars like to compare the two to see how Shakespeare’s writing style changed over the course of the decade. We had discussions comparing the two versions and what the poem/s were about.
Our PTs are focused on sharing and enjoying poems. Sometimes it takes a little bit of discussion/analysis before you can fully appreciate a poem. Poetry isn’t for everyone but I urge you to give it a try.