POETRY UNIT
SET
Who here knows any poetry?  
Songs as poetry

Drowning - Hootie and the Blowfish.  Powerful exploration of racism in
America, played in cars, in houses, and in ears all over. 

Have students think about their music collection.  Do they now know any
poetry? 

(If you decide to have them bring in poetry, have them submit written
lyrics before playing)  Objectives: 

1. Identify different types of poetry
2. Write some poetry
3. Understand the term metaphor
What is a poet? These ideas might be on an overhead, or simply read
A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.  

This may sound easy.  It isn't.  A lot of people think or believe or know
they feel - but that's thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling.  And
poetry is feeling - not knowing or believing or thinking.  Almost anybody
can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be
taught to feel.  Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you
know, you're a lot of other people; but the moment you feel, you're
NOBODY-BUT-YOURSELF. 

e.e. cummings
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, 
As those move easiest who have learned to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The sound must seem an echo to the sense.
Alexander Pope

Characteristics of Poetry

What are some characteristics of Poetry?  When you think of poetry, what
comes to mind?

If they say rhyme, ask: if it is poetry, it has to rhyme? 

Read Indian Corn
Corn, corn, sweet Indian corn,
Greenly you grew long ago.
Indian fields well to adorn,
And to parch or grind hah-ho!
Rev. William Cook
What do you think of this poem?

Write poetry
1. Bio-Poem.
Line 1		Your first name only
Line 2		4 traits that describe you
Line 3 		Sibling of... (or son/daughter of)
Line 4		Lover of... (3 people or ideas)
Line 5		Who feels... (3 items)
Line 6		Who needs... (3 items)
Line 7		Who gives... (3 items)
Line 8		Who fears... (3 items)
Line 9 		Who would like to see... (3 places, items, people, ideas)
Line 10	 Resident of (your city, or state)
Line 11	Your last name only

2. Introduction Poem.

This poem should introduce yourself and should begin and end with: I am
____ _____.  In between, you should write 4 truthful statements about
yourself, and 4 lies.  Mix up the truths and the lies. 

3. Circle Poem.

A. Write a poem where your title "triggers" the word or phrase of your
first line, which in turn "triggers" the next line. 

B. Try to surprise us with each new line, taking us each time to a new
world - take us on a rich trip through time, places, ideas, objects,
colors, tastes, names.... 

C. Your poem will end when your last line circles back to the beginning,
either copying your title, or an approximation of the title. 

D. At least 10 words.

Examples:  What makes these poems fun to read?

Snow Tracks				Teardrop
Bird Madness				Big wet plop
Petroglyphs 				Salty track
Tombstones				Camel's back			
Stonehedge				White-hot sand  
The Great Wall			Blistered foot
Yin-Yang				Life on the street
Lost & Found				"My treat"
Wedding gown			First date
No sound				Equivocate
Wet windowpane			Lovers lost
Snowbound 	(7th grade author)	Teardrop

4. Emotion and Metaphor.

Discuss what feelings and emotions are.  Have each student write down a word that describes how he or she feels today.  Use this sentence:

		Today I feel (emotion) because (give reason).

Brainstorm a list of emotions.  Ask each student to pick one and assign it a color.  Explore further:

(Emotion) is  (color)			Fear is red.

It smells like ____.			It smells like fire.
It tastes like _____.  			It tastes like rotten peaches.
It sounds like ____.			It sounds like car horns.
It feels like _____.			It feels like being scared of the dark.
It looks like _____.			It looks like Freddy Krueger.

(Emotion) is (an action or thing)	Fear is falling into a hole.

The last line of your poem is a metaphor for your emotion.  A metaphor is
used to imply a comparison of two things that are essentially unlike. 

Brainstorm a lit of metaphors

Example:  The tawny-hided desert crouches watching her. Francis Thompson

5. Extended metaphor - Write an extended metaphor about poetry.

An extended metaphor occurs when the metaphor is developed throughout the
entire poem.

Examples:  Fog
		The fog comes
		on little cat feet.
		
		It sits looking
		over harbor and city
		on silent haunches
		and then moves on.

The Guitarist Tunes Up
		With what attentive courtesy he bent
		Over his instrument;
		Not as a lordly conquerer who would
		Command both wire and wood,
		But as a man with a loved woman might,
		Inquiring with delight
		What slight essential things she had to say
		Before they started, he and she, to play.	
	Frances Cornford

Write a poem about poetry, the poet or the poem.

First, establish what the poet, poetry, or a poem, is like.  Then develop
the idea with more examples. 

Example:  Flaming Poetry

				Poetry
		          Is like
			flames,
		      which are
			     swift and elusive
			dodging realization.
		Sparks, like words on the 
		      paper, leap and dance in the 
	         flickering firelight.  The fiery
			tongues, formless and shifting
			        shapes tease the imagination.
					Yet for those who see,
					      through their mind's 
					eye, they burn
				up the page.  					(8th grader)