Saturday, April 16, 2011

Teaching Romantic Poetry

Teaching Romantic poetry in high school can be daunting. The language is outdated and the texts are too long to fit neatly in to a six week unit. But the value of digging into Shelley's Prometheus Unbound far exceeds any short story. The text contains all of the philosophical pondering of a treatise while telling a story. The solution is not to cut Romantic poetry out of a high school curriculum. Instead, cut Romantic poetry down to a manageable size. Have students work with bite-sized pieces of the poem. A 10-line section of excellent poetry has all the drama of a much longer work.

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