In the programme I referred to earlier about the poetry anthology Voices one image that sticks in my mind is Michael Rosen’s recollection of the editors, Martin Lightfoot and Geoffrey Summerfield, in his parents’ living room when he came home from school, with photocopied poems and pictures all over the floor and them excitedly crawling around it all, rearranging the sheets, picking ones out and asking him what he thought – Lightfoot tall and gangly like a great manic spider.
The point here is that what those guys wanted for kids was profusion, an outpouring of poetry and sayings (and images), in joyous celebration of the sheer fecundity of the world’s voices, literary and oral. That’s surely the right spirit for addressing literature in school, primarily giving the kids a sheer sense of the wealth of it, letting them swim in this vast ocean. That first, ‘discrimination’ and analysis a distant second. What a contrast with… Oh, never mind.