A recent Twitter post, imploring teachers to drop the phrase 'doing [insert poem name]' set me thinking. 'We've done The Charge of the Light Brigade'. Have you, though? Have you really? I don't see you riding into battle and almost certain death. 'We've done Boat Stealing'. O.K., shall I call the police now or later?
My response to this is, and always has been, that poetry and all literature, in fact, is written to evoke emotion. So, when presenting a poem for the first time to a student, my words are 'Read this and tell me how you feel.'