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An introduction to poetry guts

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1 An introduction to poetry guts
Brain Burgers & Poetry An introduction to poetry guts

2 Both are quite alike! A poem and a brain burger give us an image – a picture to put in our head
Dream Deferred What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? By Langston Hughes Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes ( ) writes very vividly about the racial divide in the United States from an African – American perspective. How are the picture and the poem alike? How are they different? Let’s look at some other images presented by Langston Hughes. The poem we are going to read is “Let America Be America Again.” (Click On Langston Hughes link) Read the poem with your partner. Partner A: write down 3 pictures that you see when you read the poem. Partner B: Write down 3 emotions you see in the poem. Put your images and emotions together and draw a picture of what you read, saw and heard. Ask for a few volunteers to read theirs. Summary: This is how we create images, by putting together pictures and emotions.

3 Angel in Blue Jeans I saw an angel in blue jeans today I felt that she melted all my bitterness away You always tried so hard to hide your wings behind your coat So let it be and let them free So you can't hoover low above the ground You look so tired you've got moonbeams in your eyes And if I believed I know you'd be the first to fly You always tried so hard to hide your wings behind your coat So let it be and let them free So you can't hoover low above the ground I'll find sunshine sometime soon How can I miss anything about you When I don't even know what your name is I feel like I know you as well as I know the sun So please tell me where is my sunshine now I'll find sunshine sometime soon How can I miss anything about you When I don't even know what your name is I feel like I know you as well as I know the sun So please tell me where is my sunshine now How can I miss anything about you When I don't even know what your name is I feel like I know you As well as I know the sun And I wonder where is my sunshine now By Maroon 5 Stanzas Every burger has sections that make it up. Bread, vegetables, meat, cheese, condiments. All of these add up to make a burger. Angel in Blue Jeans by Maroon 5 Does anyone recognize this piece of work? Is it poetry? How many stanzas does this poem have? Lyrics are like poetry in many ways. They have groupings of words that provide: An image, a feeling, a message, all the ingredients to tell a story. Poems are like stories, but they tell the story from the perspective of the heart, head, or mind from inside a person’s head. Poems sound different to us since we all think, speak and feel differently. {Stanzas} are like burger ingredients. They group the lines of the poem. This poem is written in free verse. Not every stanza has a matching pattern of sounds or rhymes.

4 Task: Let’s find the rhythm, meter & rhyme in a poem you choose.
FAST FOOD Some witches by the roadside are selling fast-food snacks, big bubbling warthog pizzas and dumplings filled with tacks. They stir things in a caldron and slap them on a dish, hot pimple-breaded lizards and moldy cactus fish, Some gooey red-eyed fritters all rolled in spider dough, some slippery dragon molars, and boiled fish bones to go. They're cooking up some freckles and bats they plucked from caves. They're using giant caldrons, they're using microwaves. They're giving plastic chopsticks, and you don't have to wait. They're serving green slime gravy on worms that palpitate. And if you're really lucky, they'll serve you some dessert. It's something cold and oozy, on squirming bug-filled dirt. Rhythm Repetition of sounds produces a musical quality or beat in a poem that we call rhythm. Meter Measures the number of syllables in a poem. Some poems have rules and can only have a certain number. What is the meter structure of this poem? 7 6 Fast Food – What is the title of this poem? What do you think it will be about? Read the poem or ask for a volunteer from the class to read the poem by Robert Scotellaro Explain Rhythm, Rhyme and meter Rhythm – read the first stanza (written in iambic) emphasize and then count the syllables. Have the class count with you. Like Rikki Tikki Tumbo …(example poem) Click on the link and have students pick a poem as a class. Assign each group one role – to find examples of rhythm, rhyme, or meter. Rhyme Poems include words that end the same or start the same to help create a rhythm Task: Let’s find the rhythm, meter & rhyme in a poem you choose.

5 Making poems come alive!
We are the time. We are the famous metaphor from Heraclitus the Obscure. We are the water, not the hard diamond, the one that is lost, not the one that stands still. We are the river and we are that greek that looks himself into the river. His reflection changes into the waters of the changing mirror, into the crystal that changes like the fire. We are the vain predetermined river, in his travel to his sea. The shadows have surrounded him. Everything said goodbye to us, everything goes away. Memory does not stamp his own coin. However, there is something that stays however, there is something that bemoans. Poems use similes to compare two things that are not alike – using “like” or “as” & Metaphors that compare two things using the verb “to be”. Task: Can you find more? Jorge Luis Borges ( ) Argentine writer and poet Heraclitus believed the universe was in constant change and there was a reason and an order underneath the change that was taking place. Not much is left of his writings and what is left is hard to understand because Heraclitus wrote in an obscure style. (Greek Philosophy, More – Link to 3 poems for young adults. Assign each group one poem to look through and have the write down the similes or metaphors they find.

6 Mirror I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions
Mirror   I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions. Whatever I see, I swallow immediately. Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike I am not cruel, only truthful – The eye of a little god, four-cornered. Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall. It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers. Faces and darkness separate us over and over.   Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me. Searching my reaches for what she really is. Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon. I see her back, and reflect it faithfully She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands. I am important to her. She comes and goes. Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness. In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish. By Sylvia Plath Personification In a poem, this makes inanimate objects (things that are not alive) seem real. Who is talking in this poem? Sylvia Plath - American Poet Explain personification Have a student read the poem and ask who is talking in this poem? Ask the students to reflect with a partner - why Does Sylvia have the mirror talking in the poem? Elicit suggestions. Ask what stories did they read this year where the author used personification. (Song of the Trees, 7th grade)

7 You will write a poem of your own.
The Mission: You will write a poem of your own. The journey will begin with your fellowship to help you compile ideas. This is a brainstorming fellowship to help each of you think about what your journey will look like. Before we set off into the journey, Let’s look at some more examples of other poetry. Quickly preview 5 poems of your choice in your fellowship group. Why do you like these? What stands out? Fellowship – group of students they will be working with - assign groups. Put class into groups of 4. Poems are selections for upper elementary students. Selections may be adjusted for older groups. Prompt the students. Do they like the images? The sound of the poem? The metaphors? The message? Prepare a handout with each of these questions for students to think about and write down their ideas. After students have finished sharing their ideas in the groups, ask the groups to share with the whole class things they liked and didn’t like. Why?

8 The Journey Begins… Tell the students for this part of the journey they must travel alone.

9 A portrait of a day in the life of
The Process Start with….. One Idea One thought One emotion Have students work individually for this section. You might want to have students find a comfortable position, put their heads down, turn the lights on low, or play soft music in the background to create a calm thinking atmosphere. Have students write or draw during this step. Have students start with one idea, one thought, one emotion. Tell students to take their ideas and picture it growing bigger. What does it look like now? Now picture it through a camera lens, small and sharp, focusing on one point. What is it? One idea might be a glimpse of a portrait of a day in the life of you, someone you admire, the past, a book, a moment, a wrinkle in time. A portrait of a day in the life of __________________

10 One image One vision What does it look like? Does it look scary?
Ask students to describe their ideas. Provide students with a list of adjectives and modifiers. Does it look calm? Is it beautiful? Is it crazy?

11 What does it feel like? What does it sound like? 
Ask students to describe the emotions when they see / think about their image. What does it sound like? Is it loud and calm, or soft and eerie, or loud and crazy? What does it sound like? 

12 What would you compare it too?
What is it like? Think about comparing it to something it is like? How is it different from everything else? What makes it stand out. Wait for students to complete their thoughts. What is it not like?

13 Young Jedis, You are now ready to take the rest of this journey on your own.
Tell students to create a poem at home. It does not have to be perfect, but a start. Tomorrow, You will have an opportunity to share your piece in groups and get feedback from each other. Tell them they do not have to share, but they can help each other with their ideas.

14 Don’t forget your ultimate ingredients!
Images Metaphors Similes Rhyme Meter Rhythm Personification

15 Begin writing your poem. If you are feeling stuck…
Homework Begin writing your poem. If you are feeling stuck… Write down the following website This website includes poems by other students. Check it out. Homework - write a rough draft poem

16 Final Steps Organizing
Polishing Clarifying Next day: Have students who want to share their poems read their poems in their groups. Students may also choose to read a line, a stanza, a piece of their section, or share their idea. The other students in the group listen. Students then write down questions they want to hear more about in the poem and give these to the writer. Provide each student in the group of 4 with 3 sheets of paper to give to other students in the group. Students bring back their final projects and share all or part of their creation with the class. Sharing

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