I also pointed out that I think teachers with good intentions (maybe some with bad intentions, too), and I am as guilty as anyone, tend to start right off the bat teaching the more analytical methods for “interpreting” poems, immediately alienating about 85% of the class. When I was a student, even back in middle school, I actually loved diving into poems in an attempt to extract the true meaning of the piece instead of really soaking in the imagery, the rhythms (and I am a drummer!), and design. I just think it’s a terrible way exposing young people to poetry. Fortunately for me, I always had excellent English teachers who selected great poets to study and had a knack for teaching poetry. They also knew the right balance of giving students that chance to discover poets and poems on their own without exams or analytical papers strings attached. Some shoutouts to Dr. Rabe, Mrs. Mandelstam, Ms. Cannon, and Mr. Van Buren!