For my money there's no other organization out there as devoted to spreading the joys of poetry throughout the land as they are. What would I do without their brilliant Poetry Tool? My Poetry Mix Tapes might not exist! Or without their near-infinite number of poems that are made available to the general public for free? This blog itself might not exist! I have to stop imagining that before I get too upset to continue...
And then there's The Learning Lab. I think it's been a part of their site for some time, but I happened to stumble back into it today and it's definitely expanded. If you're a Language Arts, English, Literature, or Writing teacher, it's definitely something you've got to see.
You'll find essays and articles on poetry, a poetic glossary, discussion guides and over 50 poem guides--which include some combination of annotation, explication, analysis, and discussion. None of this is to be missed. (One thing that I hadn't noticed before were the Poetry Magazine Discussion Guides, which feature essays on reading poetry that have been published in their monthly magazine. Definitely something for me to explore.)
If you check it out, please let me know what you think and how you're using it.
I'll leave you with this poem by Gwendolyn Brooks. It's new to me and it has an accompanying Poem Guide in the Learning Lab. Enjoy.
We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,
Grayed in, and gray. “Dream” makes a giddy sound, not strong
Like “rent,” “feeding a wife,” “satisfying a man.”
But could a dream send up through onion fumes
Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes
And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall,
Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms
Even if we were willing to let it in,
Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,
Anticipate a message, let it begin?
You'll find the final stanza here.