Poetry, The Tool That Teaches

Poetry is not a written or spoken form to be feared, rather, should be the educational tool that teaches reading, writing and the arts as no other single genre is capable.


Young Adult Poetry Creative Writing Group for Ages 14-18 Years

May 28th will be the first class. Meet in the board room of the Literary Federation which is on the 2nd floor in Suite 210, in the Cultural Center on 400 Jefferson. The class will be from 6-8 pm. Bring something to write on, something to write with and at least four copies of a poem you’d like to share/gain insight on. Please be aware, this is a class which is not about praising work blindly. I am non-judgmental while giving fair evaluations of how a piece of writing can be improved. We will have visitors from time to time that will also join in on the evaluations, give suggestions, however, I will remain your constant facilitator.

There is no cost to participate.

Susan Lewis,

West Florida Literary Federation Facilitator/Director

Poetry The Tool That Teaches

Poetry is not a written or spoken form to be feared, rather, should be the educational tool that teaches reading, writing and the arts as no other single genre is capable.

Freedom, An Interchanging Poetry Expression of History and Symbolism

Freedom, defined as the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence is a writ of grievance against the King of England, declaring, “That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are “Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown.”

From this historic document, freedom has become synonymous with liberty, patriotism, and all symbols representative of each. This article includes poetry of how I envision the feelings of the founding fathers in their passion for the creation of a constitutional government and my concept of freedom as expressed through writing and symbolization.

I start with my vision of Jefferson as he toiled at his task of writing what I believe is the most important document defining America.

Declaration Of Independence

Alone in the night, gazing at the beauty of a celestial masterpiece
yet untouched by the cover of cloud,
an unrelenting silence is interrupted by the insistent ticking
of an old grandfather clock in the parlor,
a candle with a dual wick rests on a table made of knotty pine
roughly chiseled to add a rustic touch,
accentuates a floor of polished oak,
providing my only light

I sit watching shadows flickering across plaster walls,
mimic eerie phantoms,
slithering throughout the room
refusing to take recognizable shape,
cause unwanted distraction

The work before me suffers
in stark contrast, pitifully begs text be laid
to cover the nudity of the page before me

The accomplishments of my life pale in contrast
what keeps me awake this night,
the plight of a nation will rest on the passion of my words,
my friends and patriots rely on a text that will take them
from anarchy to democracy

Shadows appearing to take shape play tricks upon my vision,
reveal a sight resembling a picture of a united
uniformly defined crowd
cheering and waving as one voice,
one sound

Suddenly it becomes clear,
the page before me fills with pronouncement,
my chest swells with pride,
what is written this night becomes page after page,
to carry a nation desiring riddance,
a Declaration Of Independence

The original draft of the Declaration was written by Thomas Jefferson from 11 June 1776 to 28 June 1776. It was finalized and approved by the Congress and printed on the evening of July 4th.

The original document was signed by only John Hancock as President of the Congress and Charles Thompson, as the Secretary of the Congress. Other signatories were added beginning in August and were not completed for several months.

John Hancock, waited in Congress for Thomas Jefferson to present his initial draft of The Declaration of Independence. Heat is a poem that describes what he must have felt in signing a document that made him a traitor and a patriot simultaneously.


It is hot! The air above me suffocates, lacking breeze.
This July eve, the heat affects me most.
Tomorrow, I will end one affiliation and begin anew.

The future causes my brow to arch, the heat
adding to my discomfort.
This house, my home is large and strong,
but may not survive the coming storm.

All before me I must be willing to cede
as a consequence of this nights decisions.

I feel the heat began to crescendo into a firestorm.

I envision myself appearing at the very gates of Hell.
I finish my dress and put on my coat realizing,
soon, this will be my home no longer.

I will be branded a traitor in my native country, a
patriot in my new.

As I sit in the Congress, I am alone if not for Jefferson
and my Congressional Secretary.

The document prepared by Jefferson beckons my signature.
I am overcome with emotion as I, John Hancock,
President of the Congress, slowly, in large bold script,
sign The Declaration of Independence.

As I return to my home,
I realize this heat will not go away for a long time.
I return to say goodbye.

I wrote Freedom and FREEDOM as a statement of current events and the impact of the growing rift in the political and social structure of America. Although from different eras, both reflect the same basic virtues and beliefs.


Freedom Its foundation built on sacrifice
maintained by the strength of belief
wounded by separatism
healed by patriotism
destroyed by disunion



Fought on bitter fields tainted red
Revolution quells garroted oppression
Emporté-moi the cry
Engagement protects treasured belief
Declaration defines a people
Oration warns tread not on me
Muskets herald the voice of freedom

The American Flag is the most recognizable symbol in the world. Anyone, in any country, that sees Americas’ flag immediately knows what it represents. This poem reflects my belief that it is more than just a symbol.

The American Flag, It Is You

A symbol of respect, pride, and strength,
not to be ruffled, wadded, or soiled,
but, to be folded, unfurled, raised for all to see,
as in going into battle resounding victory.

Not to be tattered, torn, or burned in effigy,
rather a symbol of hope to those in bondage,
of hate for those who seek to enslave,
of patriotism to those who guard fiercely,
enshrined with those who died for liberty,
entrusted to each generation to decide its fate,
to be the most loved or most hated,
to be seen in every city, state, and on foreign soil,
wherever seen America is found.

No other symbol rises above or would be allowed,
representing freedom, recognized the world round,
a powerful adversary to an enemy
a gentle giant to those who are represented.

A symbol of red and white,
with fifty shining stars on a field of blue,
call it a flag,
in reality it is you.

In conclusion,

American Flags

American flags,
the right to destroy is yours;
as is your freedom.

Poetry is an association of words placed into structure, weaving majesty and brilliance to create text. History and the symbols that represent history have, long been expressed poetically. I find poetry a novel of verse lacking the novels long narrative, yet providing the same wonderfully exciting experience of wonder and fulfillment.



The poetry cherished today,
becomes the renowned literature of tomorrow.


See more at: http://allpoetry.com/mac_mcgovern

Poetic Justice

those, who vilify,
with contemptuous
toward poets;
subsist as
to those whose vision
dare write
flowers on a wall

Author Notes

A poem to those who view themselves as great poets; who vilify others for the sake of proving their greatness, when…they are in reality pitiful, insignificant writers who desire to be poets.

– See more at: http://allpoetry.com/poem/10515359-Poetic-Justice-by-Mac-McGovern#sthash.Mpr4HJCq.dpuf

Write Poetry To Increase Confidence, Creativity, And Ability

Poetry is one of those literary genres that instill a fear in students, particularly in the middle school arena. Metaphor, sonnet, acrostic, haiku, rhyme, prose, or free verse are examples of hundreds of poetry terms and forms. Confusing for a young impressionable mind to absorb, poetry is often a subject to avoid, and if unavoidable, often solicits a desire to cheat to succeed. Throughout the internet, are sites where students ask questions soliciting someone to explain or write them poetry to complete a homework assignment.

Poetry is not a written or spoken form to be feared, rather should be the educational tool that teaches reading, writing and the arts as no other single genre is capable.

Writing poetry ought to be fun allowing students to express their feelings, beliefs, and experiences without the restriction of initially teaching them to write and interpret forms of poetry that are difficult for most to understand and usually result in a lifelong hatred of the arts and poetry in particular.

Poetry is the absolute beauty of the human heart expressing emotion in a form that delights and leaves the reader with a feeling of contentment in one spectrum, and a feeling of remorse in another. No other form of writing has the ability and power to inspire the emotion created through poetry.

Teaching students to interject their thoughts and emotions in poetic verse earns enormous benefits which may be applied to virtually any subject. We do not normally think of poetry as a tool for understanding history, music, literature, art, or mathematics yet through poetry, learning may actually become fun.

Free Verse is the ideal form to use as the first poetic style to teach students. As they learn to express themselves and gain confidence, they may be introduced to the terms and other forms of poetry to increase their base of knowledge for future benefit.

What is Free Verse? It is a type of poetry that has no set pattern or style. Since there are no set rules for form, some may rhyme, use some rhyme or not rhyme at all. If rhyme is used, it is important to not stress the rhyme; do not rhyme for the sake of rhyming. Since most poetry written today is free verse and generally incorporates limited use of rhyme, many people are under the false impression, if the verse does not rhyme, it is not poetry. Poetry does not require rhyme to be poetry. The following is an example of free verse without rhyme.

The Mouse

When the owl screeches and the wolf howls,
the mouse lies quietly in the field.

Is it the influence of the moon,
a demonstration of anger,
or celebration?
For the mouse cares not
the reason.

His destiny the same,
whether the owl or the wolf,
he fulfills their need.

Free Verse poetry is evolving as patriotic, humorous, about nature, prior experience, as serious or complex, it matters not the subject; any theme may be written as free verse. This is a very flexible style of poetry and why people of all nations, educational backgrounds, and experience enjoy writing free verse and why it is so popular. As an educational asset, take my advice; use free verse to write poetry that increases confidence and ability, changing young minds into sponges of creativity.

Mac McGovern writes poetry, ezine articles, and blogs, visit his personal website at: http://allpoetry.com/mac_mcgovern for more free verse poetry.

“No matter what you write, someone will love it.”

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