So today in class we reviewed what we learned last week, and we began to actually dig into some poetry. We learned about imagery, and figurative language (metaphor, simile, personification). Then, we read Sylvia Plath’s Mirror, Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem God’s Grandeur, Carl Sandburg’s Lost, and William Carlos Williams’ poem The Red Wheelbarrow.
At the end of class I gave them about 15 minutes to write a poem of their own. They did not have to rhyme, or make it anything special. In fact, I told them that anything similar to The Red Wheelbarrow is perfectly acceptable!
I could tell this had some of them stressing out, especially after I told them that their poems would be posted online for the world to see! These students had little time to think or prepare, but they did a great job. And I can’t wait to see how they develop their creativity as the class progresses.
The whole point though, was to get them to start thinking about the process of writing poetry. I didn’t expect Shakespeare to rise up from within them. I just expected them to think about what type of creativity is needed to produce such art.
TO THE STUDENTS–Read all the way to the bottom, I left a message for you there : )
Here are the delightful poems (retyped):
Six strings work together to
echo a sound to listening ears.
It’s wooden neck and body holding
all six strings tightly stretched accross,
such finite tuning.
The holder of this instrument,
so talented with rhythm and technique.
Every string, plucked with the perfect
amount of pressure. This is
the guitar, it’s purpose is music.
It started not so many years ago
driving around in a city called Tokyo
Drifting around a foggy mountain at
night, there was something that just
felt right, the adrenaline rush when
pushing a car to its limit, knowing you
could crash at any given minute, Oh
Haichi-roku how I love you!
Though their bodies
are bruised and spent
Their heart is unreachable.
Though their odors fade
with an awful scent
Their mind is unteachable
Though their eyes see
and ears hear
Their attention is not there.
Their their blood pumps
and lungs breathe
Their senses are unaware
You can not be invincible.
Wondering eyes dare to explore
seeing through natures door
colossal mountains and shining waters
How can anyone be bored?
Like an angelic vision
All there is room for is submission
To see God’s creation
It’s one’s own decision.
What noise is this
That I am but distraught
And my hands begin to tremble and move in ways unknown
As the bass begins to drop
Yes the music is dubstep
Oh what sound, what feeling and words come
from the speakers when they play the noise
Ah the music, only noise to some
But to me, it is an art
Only created by those of the true skill.
Candy, it is so sweet,
it is delicious in my mouth,
When I unwrap it,
I get so excited,
and I can’t wait
to taste its amazingness.
All I want to do is eat and
sleep, eat and sleep. Until I die.
I am always hungry.
I am in a deep love with food, sleep and video games.
Me plus food, plus sleep, plus video games
Volleyball, it comes from
my soul I just can’t
stop. When I’m at the serving
line I can’t wait for that whistle
BAMM goes my serve, hard
and deep. Can’t be returned.
That’s all ace for me!
Second serve I hear the
whistle. I hit it. It goes out.
Souza comes and greets you
whenever you come near and will
rub on you till you leave. He will
always eat any food you
give him. He brings joy to you when
You are frustrated. Souza cuddles when its
cold and will lick your hair like his own.
My dog. My dog is a fluffy one.
He enjoys cuddling with someone.
Doesn’t matter who, just someone.
Someone who will be willing to snuggle
with his small fragile body.
He is a tiny dog with a brittle body, that at
any moment if someone were to drop him, he will break.
He loves people. If someone were to sit down bummed about the way
their day turned out, he would instantly jump on them and keep them
company. That’s my dog.
I am so hungry right now
After class I’m gonna get some chow
My right shoe is all torn up
I can’t get money, so that’s messed up
I have to take my car back today
But I’m getting a truck so that’s okay.
–Angel Iniguez III
I appreciate that chair
How it just sits right there
I can take it anywhere,
and it’ll keep my butt in the air.
I appreciate that table
If I wanted it to hold things
It will be able.
I appreciate the paper.
I don’t think it has any haters.
My pencil loves my paper,
It can do no harm
Making artistic tattoos on it’s arm.
My body trembles and I feel small
To write emotions and feeling
The pressure is growing and the silence kills
The tap of pencils, the groans from other
tapping feet, scribbled pages, nervous sighs
And to know this shall be forever
Ten lines of words that must make sense
Some how, some way
Almost done and I sense the relief
Completed at ten and not a line more.
To the students. Thank you for sharing these words with us. I am truly delighted by every one. They made me smile. I wanted to share a poem with you that I was reminded of as I read a few of the poems that detailed what was going though your head during this assignment. It was written by an amazing African American poet (LEGEND) Langston Hughes. It is called Theme for English B. You will truly enjoy it.
THEME FOR ENGLISH B
By Langston Hughes
The instructor said,
Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you—
Then, it will be true.
I wonder if it’s that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:
It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York too.) Me—who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records—Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn’t make me NOT like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?
Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white—
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that’s true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me—
although you’re older—and white—
and somewhat more free.
This is my page for English B.