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An Example of Poetry and the Principle Approach® Method

Does poetry have a special place in your education and that of your children’s? Somewhere along the line, regular poetry readings slipped away in our family. Recently, I feel the desire arise within to make time for this. Because it seems that there is some special purpose that Yahweh has given it. For example, are you aware that a large percentage of the Bible is written in poetic form? Especially unique to its purpose is that some of the best poems are found creation. Indeed, the music, poesy, and rime combination of creation is the sweetest and most imaginative example of poetry around. Won’t you explore the possibilities with me and what it’s like to apply the Principle Approach® method to Poetry?

Best Poems, Classical Education, Homeschool Curriculum, Christian Education, Christian Homeschool, Homeschooling, Bible Principles, Bible Study, Classical Educaiton, Classical Christian Education, The Noah Plan Curriculum, The Principle Approach Method

 

God sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Poetry Has Purpose

We see in this poem that the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow realizes that poetry holds a special place to our Heavenly Father. Truly, teaching and learning poetry helps us and our children to develop an ear for music and sound of words.

And I think we must have natural wiring for music. Especially since glorifying our Heavenly Father is part of our purpose. Notably, we see many examples in Scripture where hearts swell to praise God in music. And song produces within His people a potpourri of thankfulness and love (Psalm 71:23; Psalm 95:1; and Psalm 105:2 for a few examples).

That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.

How often are we singing songs to our Heavenly Father that touch our hearts? Particularly, songs that meditate on his word, bringing us to reflection and repentance? Joy and thanksgiving? The wonder at his creation and marvelous works?

What Poetry Conveys

I appreciate what the Noah Plan® Literature Guide has to say:

The effective expression of the beautiful and the true is governed by the Word of God. Is the poem a violation of God’s commands- of the letter or the spirit of the Word? Does it encourage the love of God? Is it in good taste? Taste, is according to Noah Webster, “the faculty of discerning beauty, order, congruity, proportion, symmetry, or whatever constitutes excellence, particularly in the fine arts and belles letters.” And finally, is it rhythmical? Does it convey the “music of the spheres,” or the order of God’s universe, governed by unchanging laws which have a rhythm to them though multifarious in expression? p. 108-109

The Cause to Effect of Poetry

I love how this causes us to not only consider what is “beautiful and true” according to Scripture. But it also gives one pause to consider the musical aspect of poetry. In addition, it makes us think of developing an ear for it by the use of language. Not to mention the added ensemble of creation enhances it for us.

Defining Poetry

When considering poetry, we can think of music, poesy, and rime. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines music as: The art of combining sounds in a manner to please the ear. Order; harmony in revolutions; as the music of the spheres. Poesy is defined as: The art or skill of composing poems; as, the heavenly gift of poesy. Poetry; metrical composition. Rime is defined as: In poetry, the correspondence of sounds in the terminating words or syllables of two verses, one of which succeeds the other immediately, or at no great distance.

Identifying Poetry in Creation

Recognizing this in language is easily identifiable. But what about in creation? How can we show our children that poetry originates with God? Obviously, it’s seen in His inspired written Word. But it’s also found in the beauty of the earth that is His. And we can reason from Scripture that it has been this way since Creation.

To begin with, we can step outside our doors in the quiet of the morning. Or go for a walk in the woods and listen carefully with our children to the sounds of Yahweh’s creation.

My Poetry Goal For This Year

I’m going to start our new school year journey with Poetry and Tea Tuesdays, as is a tradition of ours. Realistically, for my family, this will more than likely end up being once monthly. Or perhaps a twice monthly endeavor.

For starters, I think we’ll begin with re-exploring the individuality of patterns and rhythm. Surely, we can do this while relaxing and listening to the music He has given us to enjoy in His “great book of nature.”

If you’d like to make this a part of your homeschool journey too, you’re welcome to download the free Principle Approach® lesson. And there are notebook pages to use in your homeschool as well. Of course, they can be found in the free Caterpillar Member’s Area at the link for Principled Academy Notes.

What are some ways that your family enjoys learning poetry? Won’t you share in a comment below?

 

Blessings!
The Principled Academy, Principled Academy, Principle Approach, Homeschool, Hebrew Homeschool, Homeschool Torah

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  1. We also didn’t do well at studying a little poetry each year so finally in 4th grade we devoted a lot of time to studying all the poetry we missed the first few years. I loved it and have a notebook dedicated to poetry.

    1. Hi Gina, I love your idea of dedicating a notebook to poetry. I’m jotting this down and considering studying a lot of poetry over the course of next summer. Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂