Poetry needs popularizing. According to The National Curriculum for England: English young readers should read for ‘pleasure’ as well as ‘study’ and should become ‘enthusiastic, discriminating and responsive’ (DfEE/QCA, 1999: 34). Many pupils, however, experience anything but enjoyment when reading poetry. Andrews reports that poetry provokes the ‘most groans’ from pupils (1991: 2) and O'Brien suggests that most teachers prefer to teach novels or plays as they have ‘little confidence’ they possess the ‘strategies and techniques to make it (poetry) enjoyable and absorbing’ (1985: 1). In particular, evidence of ‘boys' antipathy to poetry’ especially from the age of 14 ‘has stubbornly persisted while a variety of curriculum documents have come and gone’ (Pike, 2000d: 41). Various descriptions of the ...
The Unpopularity of Poetry