Do you have a favorite slam poetry performance of all time? Katie Makkai's "Pretty" is one of my all-time favorites, but slam poetry is so stirring and has risen to public interest so much that there are hundreds of examples to choose from. "Shrinking Women" by Lily Myers is another excellent example.
For a while, it seemed as if poetry was a dying art. Sure, there were a few coffee house performances of slam poetry and the small group of poetry lovers in each high school, but most students wouldn't consider themselves either readers or writers of poetry. But the art is seeing a big comeback, thanks largely to the incorporation of female poets and poets of color in both curriculum and general library availability.
Whether you pondered about where the sidewalk ends with Shel Silverstein (only to become horrified as an adult over The Giving Tree), counted stacks of yaks with Dr. Seuss or slowly rhymed with Margaret Wise Brown as you nodded off to sleep, you probably had a favorite poet as a child whether you knew it or not. Children's books are some of the most underrated literature, with so many of them tenderly giving us so many memories, poignant lessons and simple delights without asking anything in return.
A child who regularly beats her head to the bass of her headphones scoffs, “I don’t like poetry. I don’t even see its point.” She then proceeds to rhyme her way around Madonna, Lady Gaga and AC/DC. Okay, kid, what’s the difference?
The haiku gets a bum rap, but it’s one of the loveliest forms of poetry IF it is written well. Some poets even stress bypassing the 5-7-5 rule in order to write something truly beautiful (especially since you’re writing it in English and not Japanese). If you’re not into haiku, of course, there are plenty of other great forms of poetry to try out.