For this week's podcastsinenglish.com we're talking about poetry. Now poetry tends to polarise people because I for one find it... I wouldn't say I hate it but I find it irrelevant and I'm not interested in it.
Richard: For this week's podcastsinenglish.com we're talking about poetry. Now poetry tends to polarise people because I for one find it... I wouldn't say I hate it but I find it irrelevant and I'm not interested in it but Jackie, you really like poetry, don't you?
Jackie: Did you do poetry at sch… well, you did do poetry at school, Richard?
Richard: Obviously, as a sixteen year old for my 'O' level exams I must have done poetry but I don't remember anything about it.
Jackie: You don't remember any of the poems?
Richard: I don't remember any of the poems or any of the poetry.
Jackie: It's interesting that you say that you think that poetry is irrelevant but in a way if you take rock music, pop music, a lot of that is poetry set to... set to music.
Richard: Yes, exactly. I mean if we had to study er... some lyrics when I was at school, that would have been fantastic.
Jackie: Yeah. You take Bob Dylan for example, all those amazing rhyming couplets and things, you know, that's poetry.
Richard: It is.
Jackie: I think also one of the things that happens, is that because you're made to study it at school, because you have to analyse it, it puts people off.
Richard: I think that's the thing, you do study it at school and my feeling is with poetry it's more about the emotions, isn't it? Isn't it supposed to make you feel which is the opposite of trying to study something.
Jackie: I think you've made an excellent point, Richard, and I read on a teacher's blog, a... a... a teacher who really wants to have poetry at school, she said that, forget the poetry that you have to analyse. Don't de-construct it and try to make meaning of it, these are not the kind of poems for you, you should read a poem and it should make you feel something. It should make you feel angry, or very happy, or very sad. These are the poems for you. And I think that's an excellent point, that if the poems don't mean anything to you, why look at them? And that's why people think they're irrelevant. I remember when I was at school doing Wordsworth, do you remember? And Keats. They were quite long poems and I just remember thinking, what is all this about? And it wasn't until we did the war poems, Wilfred Owen for example, and I remember reading those for the first time and I remember thinking wow. Not only did I understand them but they had an amazing effect on me, I felt very emotional when I read them. And from that day onwards I realised that poetry had a place in my life and I think it should have a place in other people's lives too.
Richard: Yes, and going back to what we were talking about pop songs being a form of poetry, of course...
Jackie: The lyrics.
Richard: Yes, but as very, very young children we had nursery rhymes, didn't we? And they were very very, they are very popular to very, very young children and I wonder why at that age you really love poetical things like nursery rhymes but then you grow out of it, sort of, it's strange.
Jackie: Because I think when you, when you listen to the poetry in... in a nursery rhyme, the imagery was so strong, the message was so clear, that you had this amazing feeling, that's what you liked about it. You go to school, you get this boring, meaningless stuff which you have to analyse and you don't understand, it puts you off. Anyway um... how do you feel about poetry, do you love it, do you hate it, are you not bothered about it?
Richard: And do you have a favourite poem? We'd love to hear from you.