Why reading poetry on-line is not reading poetry

If we consider the works of the great poets of the language – Blake, Burns, Byron, Chaucer, Keats, Shelly, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Shakespeare etc etc – all of it is available to read on-line.

But in a sense it is also not available on-line.   By which I mean it is there, but not in a way that the student can use.

Of course, one can find a particular poem and read it on the screen.  One can also print the poem out – but interestingly very few students do this.  What they do is read on-line, and then, if asked to write a commentary or critique, they cut and paste.

None of this activity takes them anywhere near the words as the poet intended. The overall impact of the poem as a unified whole is lost, and the value of the work in our culture is reduced to the same level as the distracting Facebook message that pops up in the corner of the screen while the student is reading on-line.

There is in fact every reason to encourage students to read poetry in book form.  And of course, not just the poetry that is part of the syllabus but other poems written by those whose work is being studied.

Which is why printed editions of the works of poets are still very much required if the student is to get a serious understanding of what the poet was saying.

And thankfully the printed editions are not only still available, they are available at very modest prices, so every school can have new editions of the collected works of the greatest poets throughout the history of English literature.

Not just those poets listed above, but also Kipling, Owen, Wilde, Whitman, Yeats and many more.

Our works include reprints of the classics from as little as £2.99 each, after deduction of our 25% school discount, with no delivery charge and no minimum order.

If you would like to see our full list of poetry collections please take a look at this page from our website.

Ordering our books couldn’t be easier, as they are supplied for us by Bookpoint Ltd, where nearly all schools will have existing accounts. You can find full details on our website.

And we also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before.  To receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.