I'm guest-posting today over at Afterthoughts as part of her "31 Days of Charlotte Mason" series on one of my favorite topics: Why Poetry? A sneak peek:
To be sure, there are many practical reasons to read poetry. It teaches an ear for language. It models brevity in writing. It prepares one well for more sophisticated reading. It is the mark of an educated person in many intellectual circles. It gives one a sense for diction and rhythm. It aids in understanding the many cultural references that draw on the classics. It provides a sense for metaphor in writing. It helps with public speaking. It sharpens the powers of observation. It exercises the memory. And so on.But as usual, Miss Mason doesn't advocate studying content just for skills. She believes in the content itself, in the ideas that are contained there. Poetry for poetry's sake."People employ themselves about Knowledge, about Mathematics, Poetry, History, in a feverish, eager way, not at all for the love of these things, but for the sake of prize or place, some reward bestowed on Emulation. But Knowledge has her own prizes, and these she reserves for her lovers. It is only in so far as Knowledge is dear to us and delights us for herself that she yields us lifelong joy and contentment. He who delights in her, not for the sake of showing off, and not for the sake of excelling others, but just because she is so worthy to be loved, cannot be unhappy." (Vol. 4, p. 78-9)So if not for the practical reasons above, why should children study poetry at all?
Go read the rest over there!
(And if you're interested in learning more about Charlotte Mason education, her series is a great place to start. You can see the full line-up of topics here.)