Why Poetry Is Important For Students

Why Poetry is Important for Students

It is widely accepted that poetry is an art form, but what many people aren’t aware of is the power of poetry for students. Poetry can give students tools to better articulate their emotions, understand the world around them, and develop a passion for words. For students of all ages, in all subjects, the power of poetry can be invaluable.

One of the most important ways poetry can help students is by teaching them to be more articulate. Many students find it difficult to express their feelings, thoughts, and insights in words, especially when it comes to academic writing. Poetry, however, can offer support in this area. Its brevity, focus on strong language, and emotional resonance can help to convey thoughts and feelings more clearly. By engaging with the words and ideas of poets, students can learn more about how language works and how to more effectively communicate their own emotions.

Learning to appreciate the nuances of poetry also helps students become better readers. The ability to decipher difficult passages, analyze imagery, and decode the multiple layers of context and meaning can be challenging at first. But as they practice with the works of published poets, students’ capabilities as readers will develop. The in-depth practice of analyzing poetry can also help students gain a richer understanding of other non-poetry genres of literature.

Finally, poetry can help students find joy in literature. Poems are often appealing and accessible to students, and the diversity available in terms of authors, styles, and topics allows for true individualization when selecting pieces for study. Understanding and appreciating the beauty of a poem can open up a whole new realm of pleasure in reading, as well as an enthusiasm for language. With this newfound enthusiasm, students can continue to explore not just poetry, but all genres of literature.

Engaging with the Power of Poetry

Poetry can be quite intimidating for the novice reader, and some students may be discouraged from engaging with it. But there are a variety of ways to make poetry fun and interesting for any student. One of the best ways to introduce students to poetry is to focus on the basics. Introduce them to different types of poetry, such as sonnets or haikus. Then, provide them with examples to read and analyze, such as the works of classic poets like William Shakespeare or Emily Dickinson. Finally, provide them with some tools to help them recognize and explain different poetic elements, such as rhythm and rhyme.

Once the basics have been introduced, encourage students to find poems they enjoy or that they relate to. As they explore the works of their favorite poets, they will begin to develop their own understanding of the power of poetry. Ask them to share their favorite pieces and explain why they appreciate them. They will begin to develop their own opinion of the many styles, forms, and topics of poetry, and to find and appreciate the joy poetry can bring.

Once a student has developed an appreciation for poetry, it can be especially beneficial to incorporate it into other educational activities. For example, students can write their own poetry, as a way to confront their own emotions and ideas. Or they can draw connections between poems and other works of literature, exploring themes, symbols and other elements shared between them. This will help to build a richer understanding of both the poetry and the wider work and the relationships between them.

There are also many other creative ways to involve students in learning about and engaging with poetry. Encourage them to create their own poetic games, for example, finding and filling in the rhymes of a poem. Or assign readings during which each student must present a poem to the group and explain why it resonates with that student.

Exploring the Impact of Poetry on Society

Exploring the influence and relevance of poetry in past and present societies is another important way to help students understand its power. From reading works inspired by major historical figures and events, to looking at the work of modern-day poets, students can gain a better sense of poetry’s impact and relevance in the world today. They can particularly look at the ways poets have used language to challenge injustice, explore difficult issues, and advocate for positive change. By engaging with the work of these poets, students can develop a greater appreciation of their own voice, as well as a sense of confidence in using language to express their views and experiences.

It can also be beneficial to expose students to poetry from around the world. From classic samurai poetry from Japan to the performance-based poetry of the Caribbean, the diversity of poetry is vast, and the access provided by the Internet allows for a broader and richer exploration of the genre. This intercultural exploration can deepen understanding of not just poetry, but a variety of cultures and helps to foster an appreciation for the various voices of writers from different backgrounds.

For some students, exploring the impact of poetry can also inspire them to take action. They can educate themselves about particular issues, learn about organizations that are addressing those issues, and make their own contributions. Through writing their own poetry, or by attending readings and events, they can gain a better understanding of the power their own words have to affect the world around them.

Benefits of Poetry for Students

The pressure students face in academic and professional contexts can be immense and often difficult to articulate. Poetry, however, can provide a safe and supportive space for them to Transcending these struggles and find solace in the words and stories of others. Through studying and connecting with poems, they can draw strength in knowing they are not alone and can use the words of other poets to help them confront the challenges they face.

Poetry can also be an invaluable tool for teaching empathy and understanding for others. By exploring the unique perspectives of different poets and cultures, students can gain a greater understanding of the complexity of experienced and gain more insight into the struggles of others. This can help them to become more compassionate and open-minded, to value different perspectives, and to better appreciate the humanity of those around them.

Poetry can also offer inspiration for self-expression. As students explore the various words and ideas of poets, they can reflect on the things that are meaningful to them and be inspired to create something of their own. They can be encouraged in this reflection to think more deeply about their own values, dreams and experiences, and to create a meaningful, poetic way to express themselves.

Encouraging Students to Start Writing Poetry

While many students may feel intimidated by the idea of writing poetry, it is important to remind them that there is no such thing as a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do it. Writing poetry is about discovering what resonates with them and finding the unique ideas and voices within them. Encourage them by emphasizing that it does not need to rhyme, follow a particular structure, or require any special skill. It is simply an individual expression of the inner self.

Ultimately, it is important to empower students to let go of any preconceived notions they may have about poetry and to explore it in their own way. Instructors and mentors can play an especially important role in showing students the beauty of poetry and how to make use of its power. With a combination of creative exploration, thoughtful analysis, and passionate expression, students really can find understanding and empowerment through poetry.

Inviting Students to Collaborate and Connect on Poems

Encouraging students to work collaboratively on poetry can be a powerful way to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the genre. Groups can be formed to create and share their own poetry or to analyze and discuss the work of a particular poet. Classrooms can also be used to host poetry readings, performances and competitions wherein students can actively engage with each other’s work and take part in the creative process.

The power of collaboration and connection can also help students gain a greater understanding of not just the different ways poetry can be interpreted, but also the ways in which their own work can positively impact others. This further encourages students to understand their own thoughts and feelings in relation to the world around them, leading them to become more attuned to the greater power their words can have.

Exploring Trauma-Influenced Poetry

Many students experience traumas that directly impact their education. Poetry can be especially beneficial for students dealing with the after-effects of trauma. Trauma-informed poetry can provide a unique perspective on these experiences, helping them to connect to the feelings, thoughts and stories that emerge from traumatic events. For example, poetry can offer insight into how traumatic experiences can lead to intense emotions and difficult situations.

In addition, poems about healing can offer much-needed support for students struggling to move forward. By reading the stories of trauma-survivors who have used poetry to process their own experiences and overcome their fears, students can find the motivation and courage to continue on their own journey towards healing and recovery. Through this process of exploration and understanding, students can begin to see the power poetry can have in healing and begin to write their very own poetry that finds strength in the difficult moments.


When it comes to students, the power of poetry is undeniable. Poetry can open students up to the beauty and joy of reading, help them develop their own sense of language and explore the perspectives of others. It can give students tools to better articulate their emotions, learn empathy and understanding, and develop a passion for words. With the right guidance and encouragement, students of all ages can start to explore and appreciate the amazing power that poetry can bring.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

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