Ever sigh and say, “I wish I could teach poetry but I … a) can’t find anything good, or b) don’t have the time.”? This occasional series of posts will focus on specific poems that I like and have even used that I find to be both engaging and amazing.
I’ve shown a lot of spoken word poems in class over the last few years and this one always seems to be one of my students’ favorites. That may seem odd considering it’s unlike a lot of spoken word poetry that you would normally see, especially since that most of the poetry that I see shared, while honest, is often about pain or loss or is angry or activist.
Not that I find anything wrong with using poetry to describe pain or loss or poetry that is angry or activist. I just think that my students like this poem because it’s funny, light, and positive in a way that if you think about it is very hard to pull off.
Love songs are a dime a dozen. So are love poems. But there’s a fine line between the all-time greatest love songs or poems and the sappy sort of pap that you find printed on a poster that you’ll buy at the mall (probably from the same place that sells Successories posters). “Thinking About You” has the feel of having struck that balance in the same way that George Harrison did when writing “Something” or Paul McCartney did with “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Plus, they can relate to sitting in class with their minds wandering and then texting that guy or girl to tell them they’re thinking about them. And if that’s not a good gateway to good poetry, I don’t know what is.