Marie Ponsot on Teaching Poetry

Back to School Poems

D.A. Powell on Figurative Language

Recording: We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks

Lesson Plan: Voice
Signature Poetry Notebooks
poemsBack to School Poems
by Nikki Giovanni
You Begin by Margaret Atwood
Forgetfulness by Billy Collins
There is no frigate like a book
by Emily Dickinson
Teaching the Ape to Write Poems by James Tate
Art Class by James Galvin
The Testing-Tree by Stanley Kunitz
Apples by Grace Shulman
Sick by Shel Silverstein 
essayD.A. Powell on Figurative Language
"If rhythm is the heart and breath of poetry, then surely figurative language is its beguiling and sexy skin and musculature," declares D.A. Powell in his illuminating and expansive essay, "The Great Figure." Read the essay, accompanied by poetry from Claudia Rankine, A.E. Housman, Robert Duncan, and William Carlos Williams.


Related Essays on Teaching Poetry:

Can Poets Teach? by Joan Houlihan

Committed to Memory by Joseph Hollander

audioFeatured Audio: Gwendolyn Brooks Reads "We Real Cool"
May 03, 1983
Guggenheim Museum

Related on


lessonLesson Plan: Voice
Developed and tested by a high-school teacher, this lesson plan invites students to participate in a series of learning activities exploring poetry as social commentary.
Related Video:

storeSignature Poetry Notebooks
Exclusive to, these classic ruled journals are perfect for taking notes in or out of the classroom.

Special Offer:
Member Price: $19.76
September 2012

 Like us on Facebook

 Follow us on Twitter
 Join us on Tumblr

From Our Sponsors:

Thanks for being a part of the Academy of American Poets community. To learn about other programs, including National Poetry Month, Poem In Your Pocket Day, the annual Poets Forum, and more, visit Marie Ponsot photograph by Brian Palmer.