English Language KS3 / KS4: What is the power of poetry?

What is the point of writing poetry? What is the value of poetry? How is it different to other forms of creative writing?

Writer and comedian Griff Rhys Jones meets the ‘poetry doctor’ and uses ideas from Philip Larkin, Shakespeare’s King Lear and Japanese haiku poet Oshima Ryota to show how poetry can be a powerful way of evoking emotional feelings through philosophy and big ideas.

To understand poetry’s effectiveness, Jones considers the way that heightened language can toy with emotions, acknowledging the way that politicians and preachers also recognise and use the power of poetry.

Teacher Notes

Students could practice performing haiku, or other poetic forms, thinking about breath, pace and pause to create emotive readings.

Students could write emotion-inspired haiku poems, linking an emotion with an object.

Students could use the clip to begin discussion about the value of poetry and why it should or shouldn’t be included in the curriculum

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching English Language at KS3 and KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

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