A page from the "Poetry through the Ages" exhibit...


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Backgrounder: Poetry through the Ages

Poetry through the Ages is an online, interactive exhibit that traces the origins of European poetry from its ancient Greek roots and its evolution through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the Classic era and modern times. The exhibit’s engaging, accessible writing and design invites everyone from adolescents to seniors to not only learn about myriad poetic forms, but also to take the plunge and begin writing.

Indeed, the purpose of Poetry through the Ages is to bring poetry to life, and to inspire writers and would-be writers to emulate great poets like Sappho, William Wordsworth, and e.e. cummings. The exhibit’s intention is to explain both the history and mechanics of poetry in a way that moves it out of the realms of academia and the avant garde, and into the mainstream.

Additionally, Poetry through the Ages is designed for the classroom. In fact, the exhibit contains extensive lesson plans for teachers who are seeking new ways to engage students who are studying poetry. It can be used as a reference, as an integral part of a curriculum, or as the launching point for students to experiment with the first form to fully embrace the Information Age: the node poem.

Just as with people, poetry comes in all shapes and sizes. There are those who will swoon over sonnets, others who will be intrigued by the complexity of terza rima, and still others who will be enchanted by the notion that visual representations can speak volumes. To that end, Poetry through the Ages enables everyone to find the perfect fit.

About IDEA

Poetry through the Ages is provided as a public service of the Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA). IDEA is a nonprofit organization that takes bold ideas about facilitating and broadening the learning process and transforms them into information systems that are then shared with others who share a passion for interactive learning.

About WebExhibits

Poetry through the Ages is one of several offerings by WebExhibits, an online museum that encourages visitors to ask questions and examine issues from several points of view. Other exhibits include an exploration of Color Vision & Art, Bellini’s Feast of the Gods, Calendars through the Ages, Daylight Saving Time, the History of Butter, and Causes of Color.

Contact information for the press.

If you are a member of the media and would like further information about one or more aspects of Poetry through the Ages, please . Include your name, the name of your media outlet, your deadline, and your contact information. We will respond within one to two business days.

Thank you for your interest!