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Poetry Central Delia M. Turner, Ph.D. The Haverford School

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Presentation on theme: "Poetry Central Delia M. Turner, Ph.D. The Haverford School"— Presentation transcript:

1 Poetry Central Delia M. Turner, Ph.D. The Haverford School

2 Teaching English is a challenge.

3 You already juggle too much. How can you add poetry?

4 Don’t add it on top. Put it in the center.

5 Your boys will learn more.

6 Why?

7 Boys love poetry

8 Boys like to write poetry

9 Boys listen to poetry already.

10 It’s short, it’s intense, it’s rewarding.

11 Poetry is useful for boys.

12 Poetry gives boys language to talk about life.

13 Good poetry is a juggling act, and boys like athletic performance.

14 Reading poetry helps develop text stamina, knowledge, and language skill.

15 You can do more with short poetry.

16 You can read more widely in less time.

17 Your students can learn a wide variety of skills.

18 There’s a poem for every topic and every taste.

19 How can I get started?

20 Become a poetry reader yourself.

21 Start anywhere you like.

22 Read, and collect your favorites.

23 Memorize a few.

24 Choose poems to teach.

25 Choose powerful poems

26 Choose clear poems.

27 Choose poems with depth.

28 Use easily available resources.

29 Investigate poetry anthologies.

30 Buy a book on reading poetry.

31 Find, borrow, and modify lessons.

32 What?

33 Read aloud and teach discussion.

34 Ask: What’s going on with this poem?

35 Wait, listen, write, and repeat.

36 Try many different discussion methods.

37 Ask them to write.

38 Write every day.

39 Write for homework.

40 Assign formal writing tasks.

41 Use poetry to teach other things as well.

42 You can teach grammar with poetry.

43 You can teach sentence variation with poetry.

44 You can explore themes and questions with poetry.

45 Ask students to memorize and recite poems.

46 Boys value challenge.

47 Memorized poems become part of you.

48 Reciting teaches other important skills.

49 Place poetry in the center.

50 The Shark My dear, let me tell you about the shark. Though his eyes are bright, his thought is dark. He’s quiet—that speaks well of him. So does the fact that he can swim. But though he swims without a sound, Wherever he swims he looks around With those two bright eyes and that one dark thought. He has only one but he thinks it a lot. And the thought he thinks but can never complete Is his long dark thought of something to eat. Most anything does. And I have to add That when he eats his manners are bad. He’s a gulper, a ripper, a snatcher, a grabber. Yes, his manners are drab. But his thought is drabber. That one dark thought he can never complete Of something—anything—somehow to eat. Be careful where you swim, my sweet. John Ciardi From FAST AND SLOW: POEMS BY JOHN CIARDI, 1975

51 When You Forget to Feed Your Gerbil the mother eats her newborn babies. Pink furless heads without traces of blood lie on the newspaper with droppings and wood chips. Mother-gerbil sucks at a cloudy dry water-bottle that you also forgot to fill as though she is dragging on a cigarette. When you finally notice, you finally provide with the terror and guilt of a prisoner's guard, imagining the sound of tin cups like mad scales against her bars. Your gerbil doesn't try to scramble away when you open the metal door, toss in pellets and an old leaf of lettuce. And after she eats, she seems almost happy on her exercise wheel, the one she's gnawed a little plastic off of. You can't bring yourself to clean her cage, tip out the babies' remains. You can't bring yourself to do your homework. It's always your fault when you're a child taking care of a mother. by Denise Duhamel from GIRL SOLDIER, 1996

52 The Portrait My mother never forgave my father for killing himself, especially at such an awkward time and in a public park, that spring when I was waiting to be born. She locked his name in her deepest cabinet and would not let him out, though I could hear him thumping. When I came down from the attic with the pastel portrait in my hand of a long-lipped stranger with a brave moustache and deep brown level eyes, she ripped it into shreds without a single word and slapped me hard. In my sixty-fourth year I can feel my cheek still burning. by Stanley Kunitz from THE POEMS OF STANLEY KUNITZ, 1928-1978

53 The Panic Bird just flew inside my chest. Some days it lights inside my brain, but today it's in my bonehouse, rattling ribs like a birdcage. If I saw it coming, I'd fend it off with machete or baseball bat. Or grab its scrawny hackled neck, wring it like a wet dishrag. But it approaches from behind. Too late I sense it at my back – carrion, garbage, excrement. Once inside me it preens, roosts, vulture on a public utility pole. Next it flaps, it cries, it glares, it rages, it struts, it thrusts its clacking beak into my liver, my guts, my heart, rips off strips. I fill with black blood, black bile. This may last minutes or days. Then it lifts sickle-shaped wings, rises, is gone, leaving a residue – foul breath, droppings, molted midnight feathers. And life continues. And then I'm prey to panic again. Robert Phillips

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