A while ago I was having a conversation with one of my Grade 8 students. We were both walking from the train station heading for school at 7:30am, a dark morning in Cape Town. We exchanged the usual pleasantries and I asked her how's she's doing. I was expecting her to bemoan the early morning or tell me how tired she is or how much she hates school. But she didn't. Instead she responded "I'm inspired!".
I was taken aback by this response. What business did she have being inspired at 7:30 in the morning? I asked her what the source of her inspiration was and she responded with enthusiasm that she'd been reading poetry. As we closer to school we had a conversation about the form of poetry, sonnets, limericks and which would be easier to write. She promised me she would write a sonnet and show me.
Not all my students are as enthusiastic and curious as the student I mention above but it is a comfort to know that as a teacher I can be inspired while walking from the train station with a 14 year-old girl telling me poetry inspires her.