Poetry has more than one kind of effect on the brain. It can arouse curiosity, festivity, romance, and deep thought. Even if the meaning of the poem does not affect the child, be sure that the rhyming sounds will still be embedded in memory.
In this article, we will look at the various effects of poetry on the different facets of learning. We will investigate the impact of poetry on the mind and the learning process for children. Does poetry improve concentration? Does poetry enhance memory?
But before we start the analysis, let’s look at the definition of poetry.
What Classifies as Poetry?
When asked to define poetry, the American poet Emily Dickinson said, “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” According to Paul Engle, “Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.”
To quote the words of Horace Walpole:
“A poet who makes use of a worse word instead of a better, because the former fits the rhyme or the measure, though it weakens the sense, is like a jeweler, who cuts a diamond into a brilliant, and diminishes the weight to make it shine more.”
But in more prosaic terms, poetry is defined through its ability to evoke strong emotion or imaginative experiences thanks to the language used. Meaning, sound, and rhythm all play an important part.
Poetry Establishes a Phonetic Awareness
Poets use an enormous vocabulary to help perfect the rhyme and engage the reader. The reader may be familiar with some of the words used but might not know them all. When confronted with unfamiliar words in a poem, they will have a vague idea of the pronunciation of the word because of the rhyming structure of the poem.
Every language comes with a history. Certain cultures pronounce specific words differently. One of the advantages of being multilingual is that a person can recognize which culture a person represents by their pronunciations. Reading a poem, the reader begins to identify different phonetic characteristics such as inflection, pitch, volume, and rhythm.
Poetry Helps Develop Vocabulary
Some poems are very engaging. These poems capture the reader’s attention so much so that the reader becomes unaware of their surroundings. Every word is a compelling story. The reviewer will want to know the meaning of an unfamiliar word right away if they come across an unknown word.
You will have achieved two things if you research the meaning of an unfamiliar word right away. First, you will find out the meaning of the word. Second, you will also become familiar with the proper usage of the word. Satisfying both of these goals helps boost a person’s vocabulary.
Poetry Stimulates Observation
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.” This poem is one of the oldest known, with obscure origins, but it highlights the poetry of observation. Poets have a unique way of presenting their interpretations, which sometimes includes their opinion.
To quote the words of the distinguished poet William Wordsworth, from his famous poem, The World is Too Much With Us.
“This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune,
It moves us not. – Great God! I’d rather be,
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;”
And, as we all know, paying attention is a great way of increasing your understanding of any language. Use the skills you gain from reading poetry to get better at acquiring your target language.
Poetry Encourages Differing Thought
Poetry is one of the few forms of writing which encourages divergent thought. A quick definition of divergent is “tending to be different or develop in different directions.” Children and adults all have unique feelings. Sometimes culture dictates that we remain silent about our sentiments.
Other times it is family, society, our conscience, or ethics, which forces us to restrain from speaking out. Poetry provides an outlet to express feelings freely without the fear of being judged. To put it in the words of Louisa May Alcott,
“A little kingdom I possess, where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find of governing it well.”
A very important part of learning a new language is tying it to its culture of origin. There’s no better way of doing that than reading the poetic words of that culture’s great thinkers. The rebels, dissidents, and nonconformists tend to provide insights into the culture they’re dissecting that are simply invaluable.
Poetry Inspires Personal Confessions
Confessional poetry is a form of poetry that focuses on I, me, and myself. Poetry does not hesitate to deal with reflective thought. One kind of reflective thinking is a confession. Poetry provides an outlet for individuals looking to achieve peace of mind through disclosure.
Confessional poetry is the constituent of poetry that the intellectual society would rather sweep under the rug rather than acknowledge its existence. Poetry can also be used to make confessions of a more romantic nature. The individual can passionately woo their partner off their feet.
When you read poetry in your target language, it’s this type of introspection and passion that helps you hold on to every new vocabulary word and pronunciation.
Poetry Improves Memory
The human memory is not as efficient as it should be, at least not without poetry. Don’t you think it is funny how you can recall the nursery rhymes taught as a child, but you can’t remember where you put the keys?
Reading a poem for the first time has a specific effect on the mind. A poem that incorporates both rhymes and meter becomes musical on paper. Like a song, the poem etches itself into memory. If the reader comes across the same verses, they are already in mind. Poetry is easier to remember than where you put your keys because of the rhyme.
Poetry & Music Have a Similar Effect
Poetry is one part of music, but music also contains an orchestra of musical instruments. Poetry and music both stimulate the right hemisphere of the brain. We often remember the tune of our favorite songs even if we haven’t heard them for a long time.
Poetry stimulates the same part of the brain, which can send shivers down your spine when you listen to your favorite song after a long time. Poetry and music both deliver a level of emotional rewards.
Using these effects that both poetry and music have on you, can make learning a language a much easier process.
Poetry Creates Social Awareness
We are not alone when we attend a football game or a concert. There are huge crowds at these venues. Some of the people in the crowd cheer one team, while another group of people cheers their opponents. Some of the people sitting in the masses may be interested in other things until the cheer starts.
Everybody participates once the crowd begins to cheer on their college team. The cheer is in the form of poetry. Congregations use poetry when they get together in a demonstration to protest about a social issue such as pollution.
It’s this type of together-ness that can create a sense of belonging and serve as extra motivation for your language learning process. Not to mention how you can use football games, demonstrations, or religious services to memorize fun and authentic vocabulary from your target language.
Poetry Cultivates Connections
In the world of technology, social connections are one of the most overlooked elements of poems and poets. It is becoming frequently uncommon to find someone who appreciates good poetry. You make a special connection when you find that one person who comprehends landmark poems of the last century.
Poets write poems so that the general public can understand it. A brilliant poem is easily comprehended by the reader and relatable. Poets often talk about their feelings and emotions after experiencing certain events. The poet is effectively creating a connection with their readership through their writing.
Poetry is an excellent way to develop an interest in language for non-native speakers. You do need to be quite proficient in your target language before tackling poetry, so if you’re in doubt, make sure that you understand fundamental idioms and colloquialisms before trying to take on a study of classical poetry.
Both reading and writing poems can be a great motivator to improve your language skills. Writing a poem is an ingenious way to express your feelings, emotions, and observations. Writers can find themselves embodied with ideas when they are surrounded by nature and all alone. Rush to express your thoughts before the moment passes. Once you complete your work of art, the moment will be captured in writing forever.
Author Bio: Melissa Calvert is a dedicated Academic Counselor at King Essay. She makes exceptional efforts in educating dissertation topics. In addition to this, she is training to be a great saxophone player.