Every now and then we get a comment on one of our posts that we want to make sure everyone sees. This past Thursday, when we published Measuring the Text Complexity of Poems, Collette Marie Bennett (fellow blogger at Used Books in Class) shared this response with us:
I think being driven by the Common Core to measure poetry text complexity is as ridiculous as the poet Billy Collins suggested below in his poem “Introduction To Poetry”
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
Poetry should not be subjected to this attempt to classify and label its complexity through rubrics and charts. It would be easier to capture lightning in a bottle.
What we love about Collette’s response is that it is an insightful text-to-text connection that illustrates the ways informational text lends understanding to other texts and makes us all think. Does it get more Common Core than that?