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Poetry Month Picks: Exploring Language through Verse


Poetry is an outstanding vehicle for exploring language and culture and how the two intertwine. Authentic poems can also be easier for students to access at different levels in their language journey. If you are you thinking about celebrating National Poetry Month in your classroom, here are several popular Spanish-language poets who are sure to bring inspiration and enjoyment.


“La ardilla” by Amado Nervo

Amado Nervo, considered one of the most notable Mexican poets of the late nineteenth century, was also a distinguished diplomat and journalist. His simple, uncomplicated poems are ideal for beginning Spanish-language learners, who benefit from familiar vocabulary. His poem “La ardilla” is an excellent introduction to authentic poetry, since students likely know how a squirrel looks and acts.


“No sé por qué piensas tú” by Nicolás Guillén

Nicolás Guillén, a poet, activist, and leader of the Afro-Cuban movement, authored over a dozen books of poetry during his lifetime. The themes of racial and economic injustice found in his poetry can be compared to the work of American poet Langston Hughes, who he met in 1930. “No sé por qué piensas tú” is an example of his societal critiques that is still accessible to students due to its straightforward structure.


“Mi cara” by Gloria Fuertes

Praised for her conversational tone and ability to find beauty in everyday objects or events, Spanish author Gloria Fuertes wrote poetry and literature everyone could enjoy, especially children. Her poem “Mi cara” is a fun description of how a child might describe their face. Students will enjoy its musicality, rhythm, and comprehensible content even if they are novice learners.


“Dame la mano” by Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American author to win the Nobel Prize in literature, and her poems have stood the test of time with their themes of nature, life, death, and love. While Mistral’s figurative language requires more interpretation, her poem “Dame la mano” is full of visual metaphors and personification that engage the reader and help them to understand the feelings behind the poem.


“Desde mi pequeña vida” by Margarita Carrera

Like many other Latin American poets, Margarita Carrera was affected by civil strife and adversity in her home country. Her writing sometimes reflects that struggle, as well as the injustice she witnessed during the Civil War in Guatemala. “Desde mi pequeña vida has strong undertones of the loss and feelings of helplessness that accompany those who witness war.


By Kelli Drummer-Avendano


Read also:

Enjoying Poetry in the K–2 Classroom with Rimas y poemas Library

Poetry Around the World


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