In University I learned that in the past poetry was usually studied and read by men in a lecture theatre in England and was part of a classical education. I wonder what those men would think about Crank by Ellen Hopkins?
Ellen Hopkins has written several books in verse and a lot of teens are picking up these books and devouring them. Is this a resurgence of written poetry?
I first got into Hopkins by reading Impulse and I ended up buying most of her books. Instead of chapters, there are titles. Instead of full pages, there is space used to create meaning.
As a lover of poetry, literature, and words, I can’t help but get excited about having students and teens read Hopkins’ books. I know that a lot of students groan and complain when I tell them we are about to read some poetry in English class, yet, when I talk about Crank, a lot of students have read this book and enjoyed it.
Is it the sustained story they like to read about? Is it the running narratives that they enjoy following? Is it the subject matter that meshes more with their lives? I’m not sure what it is about Hopkins’ books that speak to teenagers who claim to hate poetry, yet I am grateful for Hopkins that she is exposing so many more people to poetry. The subject matter and characters seem to be a safe starting point for reading poetry.
Whatever it is, I am excited for the emergence (as I see it in the classroom) of a wider interest in poetry by a more diverse reader. There are more teenagers engaged in poetry (structure, word choice, and devices) because of Hopkins’ beautiful books.
The unfolding of your words gives light (Psalm 119:130).