Why is the sun so beautiful?

Poetry has innumerable registers and as many audiences. Yesterday I wrote a poem for a class I give to an adolescent with special needs. My student faces a number of challenges, but he is very intelligent and is interested in everything. He also has a gift with words. We have been reading the poetry of Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams and Stevie Smith, and part of every class involves a short piece of writing, often in the form of poetry. The poem below was written to demonstrate how the simple repetition of a phrase can give form to a poem: each line was also intended to stimulate a response that would lead to a piece of writing by my student. Before settling down to work, however, he spontaneously spoke the line “Why is the sun so beautiful?” and he went on to describe what he felt about the sun. I told him that that first line in particular, with its combined exclamation and question mark, could easily be the first line of a poem by Emily Dickinson, and congratulated him. Poetry as an educational medium can help to unlock the emotions and liberate the powers of expression. It has this effect on school children and on adults alike. Poetry rules, okay!

Some things

Some things are important
Some things are not

Some things I remember
Some things I forgot

Some things make me happy
Some things make me sad

Some things really please me
Some things drive me mad

Some things are really boring
Some things are really fun

Some things are best in winter
Some things really need the sun

Some things are quite alarming
Some things are really cool

Some things I do at weekends
Some things I do at school

Some things are good for eating
Some things are good to drink

Some things are really easy
Some things they make you think

Some things are worth the trouble
Some things I couldn’t care

Some things I think of trying
Some things I wouldn’t dare

John Lyons


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