Thursday, November 15, 2007

Poetry Still Inspires

Sometimes I have a good day of teaching. In one of my classes, I am currently teaching how to do a research paper. I usually choose modern American poets as the topic because it does not require a huge amount of reading to get into a writer's work, and there is such a huge list to choose from. In one of my general level classes, a student chose Nikki Giovanni as his poet. He had been having some trouble getting into researching her biography and finding a poem to critique, until he came across "All Eyez on U." "Hey Mr. Hampton!" he said to me. "Did you know that my poet wrote a poem about 2Pac?" "Oh, yeah." I acted like I forgot. "What does she say about him?" He then warmed up a little more to reading about her life, especially once he realized that she wasn't one of those "boring dead white guys." Today in class he very animatedly told me that he just found out she had a tatoo on her arm that said "Thug Life." He was pretty impressed by that. I can't take the credit for his inspiration into poetry, though. All I did was point him in the direction I thought he would like to go.

A good collection of Nikki Giovanni's poetry is entitled Love Poems, which includes the tribute poem to 2Pac Shakur.


Mike said...

That is a teacher's true job: find the way, no matter where or how, to get the point across. A real head-banger sometimes, eh?

maggie said...

well done, Mike...old story but the story still inspires..