Expanding the Turn: Using Poetry to Prepare Students for a Post-Truth World
Studies continue to demonstrate that many people are dismayingly (and increasingly) unable to distinguish dubious from credible sources. This, coupled with the fact that a majority of Americans get their news from social media, reinforces the need for educators to help their students acquire a versatile set of literacy practices. This chapter proposes, first, that poetry is a beneficial site for developing and refining these practices, and, second, that analyzing poems through the lens of the poetic turn is a robust method for doing so. With reference to the critical work of John Crowe Ransom, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Michael Theune, and Randall Jarrell, this chapter calls for more instructional attention to be paid to structural elements of poems, as this attention will help students build confidence in analyzing poetry while attuning them to the linguistic and rhetorical subtleties necessary for sorting reliable information from streams of dubious data.
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