Letter: Schools of poetry
Friday 28 May 1999
Sir: I was glad to learn that the new Poet Laureate is calling for poetry to be revived in our schools ("Motion calls for poetry revival", 26 May) but I can't help wondering how familiar he is with what is already being achieved.
In secondary education the national curriculum leaves little room for either the letter or the spirit of poetry beyond what is prescribed for examination purposes. But in primary schools I can seen no evidence of a declining interest in verse.
The children I meet, when I visit schools to read and conduct workshops, clearly feel that poetry has got everything to do with them.
Recently I have been working, as part of London's Poet in the City project, with children in Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Islington, and I have yet to encounter anything other than engaged attentiveness, an eagerness to write and, on the part of the teachers, a genuine desire to be informed about the range of lively, accessible poetry being written for children.
Before he addresses "the issue" with Secretaries of State I would urge Andrew Motion to visit as many schools as possible.
St Albans, Hertfordshire
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Enrique Iglesias injured trying to catch a drone mid concert
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, reveals new look on Annie Leibovitz shot Vanity Fair cover
- 4 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
The 1975 leave social-media after tweeting cryptic comic strip hinting at break up
Britain's Got Talent 2015 final: Winner Matisse had secret dog double, says owner Jules O'Dwyer
Top Gear to follow Have I Got News For You format with 'different host for each episode'
Britain's Got Talent final 2015: Ofcom receives 90 complaints about Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden's 'revealing dresses'
Ed Sheeran debuts new love song 'Sweet Mary Jane' about relationship with weed
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history