Banks students participate in poetry-reading event

Published 6:48 pm Friday, February 4, 2011

Walt Whitman said that to have great poets, there must be great audiences.

There were both great poets and a great audience at Banks Middle School Friday morning for the Eighth Grade Poetry Reading.

Forty-two students read the poems that they had selected as their favorites from among the many they had written during a unit on poetry in LaToya Gay’s English classes.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We have studied all kinds of poetry, lyric poetry, limericks, free verse, narratives, odes, Haiku, sonnets, epic poetry – all kinds,” Gay said. “We talked about rhyme, rhythms and meter and then the students wrote their own poems and they were very creative in their thinking.”

Because the students are in their early teens, Gay said most of the poems had teen themes.

“Many of them wrote about love and friendship and finding their identity and some of them write about remembrances,” she said. “But some chose more mature themes and I was kind of shocked a some of the things that came out of 13- and 14-year old mouths.”

The students were asked to choose their favorite poem to read at the Poetry Reading and their parents were invited.

The poetry unit will be beneficial to the students in that they will better understand and enjoy poetry and in ARMT testing.

“There is not a lot of poetry on the ARMT test but there is some and the students will be better prepared for it,” Gay said.

Dr. Ken Bynum, Banks principal, said he was very impressed with the students’ work. “They all did a fantastic job. Poetry is a form of expression and what I heard made me think and feel inside, especially the one about fried chicken,” he said, laughing.

“Ms. Gay and her students are to be congratulated on a fantastic job.”