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
Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 4 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
JK Rowling's Harry Potter Halloween stories: Dolores Umbridge was based on real person she 'disliked intensely'
Best horror films of all time
Benedict Cumberbatch describes the 'explosive' Sherlock sex scene that will never happen
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Halloween 2014: The horror films and scary TV to watch on Netflix
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything