How to analyse a poem: a Gilbert vodcast on “The Sick Rose”
Motivated by the £10K offered to my school for winning The Dream Teacher competition, I’ve decided to start videoing little sections of my “teacherly” explanations and uploading them to YouTube. My videos are not of great quality, but I think my enthusiasm comes through! Like thousands of teachers up and down the country, I do this sort of thing day-in and day-out; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
This first vodcast is an explanation of “How To Analyse A Poem”. It’s primarily aimed at Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils, particularly those taking GCSE, but I’ve found during my twenty years of teaching that some of the very basic points I make are relevant to Sixth Form students and undergraduates as well. This year I’ve enjoyed teaching undergraduates at Goldsmiths an Engaging Poetry course, who have been fantastic, but increasingly we’ve returned to some very basic questions: what is analysis? What is poetry? It’s only by asking this simple but essential questions that you find the heart of poetry is unlocked, made accessible and thrilling even. Please feel free to criticize my pedagogical skills constructively if you are so minded.