Me: So, people see and experience things that they think are significant, and then they try to communicate these ideas to other people through poetry. The people they are communicating with may be separated by space, time, or even point of view.
*draws picture of man on bridge on whiteboard, with a thought bubble over his head saying 'beautiful'. Next panel is man writing poem. Third panel is spiky haired person reading poem.*
Me: So, what do you think this person is standing on?
Student 1: A hovercraft?
Me: Ooookay, so what are they looking at?
Student 2: A whale!
Student 3: An island!
Student 4: Bodies floating in the water!
Me: OK, so maybe he's looking at bodies in the water. He thinks they're beautiful...
Student 3: Oh, so he writes a poem to show other people how beautiful they were.
Me: Right. And maybe he's trying to persuade someone of a particular point of view. Maybe he's a hardcore racist, and he's admiring their pure white Aryan skin glistening in the water, and the guy reading it is a Maori punk in NZ.
Student 3: That's pretty ruthless.
Me: The Maori guy might not agree, of course.
Student 3: Riiight.
Me: And it's not just racists and people in the old days that write poetry. Emo kids and 15 year old boys whose girlfriends have just dumped them write poetry too.
Student 5: You don't hold back, do you mister?
Our own memorial problem
3 hours ago