Wednesday, March 14, 2012

POEMS- 3 Found Poems

To begin the POETRY UNIT, I want you to CREATE A BLOG. On this blog you can make your FIRST POST entitled: 3 FOUND POEMS.

  1. Your task: To find 3 poems that you appreciate in some way.
  2. Create a blog (if you haven't already) and on the first post, copy 3 poems you like (no songs yet!). Be sure to give credit to the author and the website. (give the link and author for example)
  3. You could include Slam poems and videos of poetry readings, but I would like to see the words on the page written out so we can use it for discussion.
  4. You may also include pics that somehow represent your poem; but again, please give credit to sources. Copying things onto your blog is fine as long as you don't make any profit from your blog. 
  5. Also, use first name only and no personal pics or personal videos please. 
  6. After each poem include a short personal essay about why you chose that poem. A personal essay is simply your reflection on the process you went to find poems and the reasons you chose each of your 3. I say 'essay' because you want lots of paragraphs for ease of reading. You may use first person, of course, but use good sentence formation. Consider spelling and communication. After all, people are going to read this!!!!  No text shortcuts and put capitals where needed. May I suggest you find a good proof reader for peer editing.
  7. Email me the link to your blog. And make sure your blog allows other people to make comments on your posts.
  8. In class we can create a rubric together on how I will evaluate these blogs.
Terminology in Poetry:

POEMS- found- Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)

Do not Go Gentle into that Good Night

              1Do not go gentle into that good night,
              2Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
              3Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

              4Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
              5Because their words had forked no lightning they
              6Do not go gentle into that good night.

              7Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
              8Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
              9Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

            10Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
            11And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
            12Do not go gentle into that good night.

            13Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
            14Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
            15Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

            16And you, my father, there on the sad height,
            17Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
            18Do not go gentle into that good night.
            19Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I came across this poem years ago when planning a poetry unit. Previous teachers' lessons often included this poem. I also took it at university. I was always intrigued by this poem but it took me a while before I really appreciated it.

I used to dislike poetry, or any writing, that I couldn't immediately understand. I changed profoundly in my 30's when I realized that poetry and language are all about the subjective interpretation and not the "school idea" that there is only one answer to all questions and students can get those questions right or wrong. I believe we do a great injustice to the mystery, intrigue, and love of learning when we objectify it in this way.

I have re-read stanzas 3 and 4 probably hundreds of times over the years and never get tired of them because their meaning is just slightly out of reach for me. I think I enjoy more the 'not-knowing' exactly what his metaphors are saying because it just keeps drawing me in. And while I have come to 'understand ' the poem very well over the years, I've also seen students get drawn in to this one.

Maybe that's why it continues to be read by people even after 62 years of existence (published in 1951).

Wikipedia offers an analysis of the poem but I'm deliberately avoiding it for the above reasons. 

In the past, poetry in school was always ANALYZED, and in our left brain madness, we looked for the right and wrong interpretations of poems. We can be mistaken about authors' intended meaning of their writing, but if we find a poem and like it for whatever reason, that 'FINDING' and 'LIKING' of a poem is neither right nor wrong- it just is.

This is called "READER RESPONSE": reading poems and appreciating them for a variety of reasons. That is what we will do in this class. We will find poetry and respond to it (as well as writing it). Let me know if I get too analytical (I do like to do that sometimes) and remind me that POETRY IS ABOUT APPRECIATION and SUBJECTIVE NTERPRETATION, and NOT about correct and incorrect meaning.

Have you noticed that I haven't even discussed this poem in this blog? 

Poetry requires you to:
  1. Sit with a poem for awhile. Don't just read it quickly and hit the like or dislike button.
  2. Appreciate the poem for sound, rhythm and rhyme of the words it uses, the meaning you come away with, and experience you have with this poem. Poems have changed my life- SONGS and SLAMS can make you laugh and cry and experience the breadth of feeling in this thing we call life.
  3. Respect the fact that poets (and you are one as well) have offered their hearts and souls to us as readers in their attempt to tell us something significant or insignificant about being alive.
What does Dylan Thomas tell us about being alive in this poem? (theme)


3 Protest Poems document