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A Teenager's Guide to the Bookshelf: Why Read Poetry?

You may remember Vivian from last year; she has a YouTube series called A Teenager's Guide to the Bookshelf. In this episode she explores reasons to read poetry.


Before you watch:

Work with a partner and answer the questions below.

  1. Do you read and / or write poetry?

  2. What do you like about poetry?

  3. Is there anything you don't like about poetry?

  4. In your opinion, what are good reasons to read poetry?

Sum up:

Why does Vivian think it is a good idea to read poetry? Sum up her main points in a few sentences.


Work with partners and discuss the questions.

  1. What did you think were Vivian's best reasons for reading poetry?

  2. Did the video make you want to read poetry more than before?

  3. What kinds of poems do you prefer to read?

  4. Is there a significant difference between poetry and song lyrics?

  5. Can you each name three poets that you are familiar with?

Read a poem:

Work with partners. Choose one of the poems found here on NDLA, read it aloud together, and talk about it.

  1. What did you like about it?

  2. Was there anything you did not like about it?

  3. What characteristics does this poem have that actually makes it a poem?

Link to poems on English 2 (NDLA)

Link to poems on English 1 (NDLA)

Share a poem:

Find a poem you like and read it aloud in a group. Explain what you like about the poem.

If you can't think of a poem offhand, use the internet and find one you like. Below, you will find two links that may help.

In the box, you can find further suggestions for poems to read.

Suggested poems:

You can find these poems easily online by searching the title + the name of the poet.

  • ‘Persimmons’ by Li Young-Lee

  • ‘San Antonio’ by Naomi Shihab Nye

  • ‘The Orange’ by Wendy Cope

  • ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ by Lewis Carroll

  • ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S. Eliot

  • ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ by Robert Frost

  • 'The Red Wheelbarrow' by William Carlos Williams

  • ‘Recuerdo’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay

  • ‘How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  • ‘Caged Bird’ by Maya Angelou

  • ‘In a Station of the Metro’ by Ezra Pound

Sist oppdatert 27.01.2022
Skrevet av Tone Hesjedal


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