April is National Poetry Month, which makes it the ideal time to bring poetry into your classroom—especially if you haven’t already been doing so! Poetry has always been part of HMH’s offerings, and we are home to many poets whose subject matters align closely with subjects taught in schools.
Poetry in History
History is inextricably bound up with poetry. The first tales ever told were poems—epic tales of heroes and the founding of societies, from Beowulf and The Odyssey through today. Poets are exploring the untold stories of history and ensuring that a variety of voices, past and present, are heard.
Natasha Trethewey, an HMH author, excels at combining the personal with the historical, lending her works extraordinary power as they speak of life in the United States. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Native Guard would work well in any high school American history class, as Trethewey presents a sequence of sonnets in the voice of a black soldier in the Louisiana Native Guards, a regiment of former slaves who enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War. Her collection Thrall uses paintings, photographs, and documents as the source material for poems about being mixed-race in in the United States, both today and in the past. Her latest, Monument, includes new poems along with a selection of previously published works, exploring memory and the resonance of family history through time.