The Value of Poetry

Got into an argument with my Principal about the value of poetry. I told him that Life is Poetry and that therefore we cannot live without poetry in our lives. Mr. Grunk said that he had always hated poetry when he was in high school and that kids don’t need to learn to read it. He said that “Poetry is not a twenty-first century skill, that kids need “facts about their world” and not “navel-gazing flights of fancy.” I told him in no uncertain terms that I respectfully disagreed. Kids should be gazing at their navels instead of their computer screens. Kids should develop imagination and compassion and respect for language in its most condensed form. They need to know about rhythm and assonance and onomatopoeia and metaphor because that is what literate people talk about. He said in so many words that I was full of poo-poo, which I did not respond to because I like my job and sometimes you have to “step away and work another day”–that’s a rhyme…and an aphorism. See. Poetry saves lives.


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