Picking a selection of poems for a high school student
November 7, 2012 8:05 PM Subscribe
I'm tutoring a teen girl who loves Maya Angelou and writing her own poetry and I want to make her a book of poems to encourage/inspire her. What poems should I include?
posted by grokfest to Society & Culture (21 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I am tutoring a girl who loves Maya Angelou and likes to write poetry herself, and I want to give her a book of poems she might enjoy to encourage her interest in it. I'm going to print and bind it myself with hand-drawn illustatrations and cover decorations. I am familiar with Angelou's work but I was wondering what recommendations you could add.
From what she tells me, what she most likes about Angelou's poetry is the free verse style and her personal relation to the words. She is a below-grade-level tenth grader who is in the foster care system. She's also black, comes from a poor family, and we are located in the Southern US.
These are my goals for the book:
1) Choose other examples of poems that will reinforce her current taste and interest in poetry (poems that are written in the style and voice she is drawn to - "Phenomenal Woman" being an example). Feminist poems, poems by African-Americans about the black experience, and introspective poems by female poets fit here in my calculation. Also poems about being young or coming of age.
2) Choose some notable poems that will introduce her to different styles and subject matters but dovetail her current interests in some way (for instance free-verse cerebral poems or feminist poems with more formal meter).
3) Choose some poems that will be "educational" in a way - ones that deal accessibly and artfully with different cultures, histories, social issues, etc.
4) Choose some poems that are simply pretty, funny, inspiring, or highly inventive -- somehow just hard to ignore -- but won't go way over her head.
5) Choose some poems that are about the process of writing itself, ideally in an inspiring way.
In the top comment I will list the poems I've already got included in the selection, for reference and, as relevant, critique. Thank you very much!