A poem can explain the inexplicable and express the unexpressed. This is how reading poetry enhances understanding and writing poetry helps students say things that they could not say in any other way. And it's why David Hanauer believes that poetry deserves to play a central role in classroom literacy programs. In Poetry and the Meaning of Life, David explains how teachers can use poems to help students understand and express important thoughts, feelings, and experiences. He does this by discussing theories of reading and writing, and by relating these to vignettes that demonstrate how real teachers in real classrooms have used poetry to put these theories into practice -- with emergent and beginning readers, with mature readers, and with English language learners. The book concludes with a clarion call to teachers to use the transformative power of poetry to encourage their students to search out the meaning in their own lives.
David Ian Hanauer