I read because it’s beautiful

One of the sessions I attended at the IRA (International Reading Association) Conference a couple of weeks ago was called “The Art of Teaching Reading”.  It was presented by Tim Rasinksi, a professor of literacy education at Kent State University.  He shared the importance of ensuring our students enjoy reading through song, poetry and more.

One of the poems he shared reminded me that I “read because it’s beautiful”.

Read It Because It’s Beautiful
by Karen Morrow Durica

Somehow a life without poetry seems…
Not much.

So each day in my classroom I read…
Free verse—
And such.

An observer sat in my room one day…
Noted poem’s title
Evaluated delivery
Recorded “lesson” sequence—
Said dryly: “It seems

There’s no connection curricular-wise…
No anticipatory set
No vocabulary drill
No comprehension query—
Do they know what it means?”

I could have contrived a defense or two, but…
Spirits flowed with peaceful joy
Honesty prevailed
Simple truth explained—
“I read it because it’s beautiful,” I said.

She didn’t quite frown but recalled all the same, “We’ve…
Standards to meet
Timelines to keep
Pages to cover—
Important content to be read.”

I looked from her to my students’ gaze; they…
Had relished the words
Danced with the rhythm
Mused with the meaning—
Were richer in spirit than when we began.

I read it because it was beautiful. And beauty is…
Never superfluous
Never irrelevant
Always needed—
Always in my “lesson” plan.

I would love to hear your responses to this poem.  Why do you read?

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