tend to teach poems in exactly the wrong way – as puzzles to be solved

Yes, the TS Eliot sentiment that good poetry should be felt before it is understood……I will often come across an obscure writer who is difficult to decode but if the language is beautiful and there is an emotional hit, I’m happy (or not *grin*). And of course my son brought home a poem the other day, albeit very lucid, and the assignment was ‘what is the poem about?’ I’d far rather he’d been asked to pick out a line that moved him or used language in an interesting way…..happily for me, he naturally thinks like that but…..in some ways education is changing, in other ways it’s same ole same ole.