Marching onto the bus in the afternoon, the seat is filled with two people!
Poetry In Motion | Definition of Poetry In Motion by Merriam-Webster
She is not one of them. She is gone and no one noticed. Jill's concrete details—the girl's thick eyeglasses and plaid skirt, for instance—bring the lonely child to life. The reader aches for her, the ostracized one, only marginally different from one's self. In common with Jill's response to the first prompt is the haunting refrain, "No one noticed. Now I wanted students to think about this same emotion in a more general way. I asked a series of prompting questions to focus their thinking.
Here are some of the questions I asked, followed by Jill's responses. No one to cry with on a bad day. It can lead to depression or even death. Finally, students wrote similes and metaphors for their emotions, practicing techniques of poetry. These were Jill's responses:. Jill's responses to these prompts helped give her some ideas and language for her poem. I was especially intrigued by her use of personification, "pushing a man into a storm without an umbrella.
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Pervading the classroom was the quiet intensity of the writer engaged, broken only when I invited students to share their similes, metaphors, and personifications. They shared eagerly, sometimes with laughter at an especially clever line, sometimes with amazement at a peer's creativity. This brief discussion touched off some teaching opportunities. For instance, when one student provided "Joy is a disease that infects the entire body," we talked about connotation and creating a consistent tone, a point I now realize I should have emphasized before students wrote.
While a disease may spread as joy does, "disease" and "infect" convey negative connotations foreign to joy. Students grapple with language as they write, and so "they learn to write when they are writing—producing words, working with words, seeing what they say, asking themselves questions, and making choices based upon that seeing and questioning" Romano , Jill and her classmates had written now for an entire hour total. They were on their way toward making a poem. But I wanted them to take still another step. Writers write and writers read, and I wanted students to look at some ways published writers work with emotion.
I read with students seven short poems that appear in two anthologies available to the class Dunning et al. Each poem conveys strong emotion, yet the tones and situations are varied. We read each poem aloud, then responded to it informally and briefly. The class was intent and moved, silent as they experienced the emotion of the poet, until the last poem, "Emergency Situation," when the room filled with laughter as the speaker reprimanded her son for his lack of decent underwear.
Channeling Emotion: One Way to Make Poems out of Feelings
After reading all the poems, we looked at specific techniques poets use to reach their audiences. These include the creation of a specific situation; a contrast between two specific situations; the use of concrete, original, and precise language that is chosen for its impact, connotation, and sound; and the repetition of a strong image in the poem. There are, of course, many hundreds of poems available to students and teachers that can be discussed in similar ways. In any case, looking at models is a good idea. Students who read works in the genre in which they are attempting to write are often inspired by their reading.
As Natalie Goldberg writes, "When an artist sees a masterpiece, it urges her on to create another one" , Now students were ready to pull the pieces together, to write poems of their own, using as much or as little of their prewriting as they chose. Jill created the poem "No One".
Empathetic and inspiring, Jill uses in her final poem pieces of each part of the prewriting as well as techniques discussed in the model poems. The "hard pavement" connotes the harsh treatment the poem's speaker receives from humanity, while God's sorrow at our indifference compels his tears. Connotation, image, and spirit animate Jill's message. Even in the first defiant description of her invisibility at Blair's birthday party, one feels the silent tears Jill finally allows herself to express in her poem.
The plight of the socially exiled is derived from her second prompt. To the girl alone at lunch, alone on the bus, no one will show the way, just as no one will show the way to the lone sufferer in the frigid torrent of Jill's final draft. Were William Wordsworth an observer in my classroom of twenty-two second-millenium teenagers—focused yet lively in their writing and discussions—I'm not sure he would see this environment as an ideal one for "recollecting in tranquility.
Moving one step at a time, I offered my students a classroom calm that allowed them to tap into and express in powerful ways that "spontaneous overflow of feeling. Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle. Scott, Foresman, and Company. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Working with Teenage Writers. In Poets on Poetry, edited by C. One Way to Make Poems out of Feelings". Emotion Prompt Make a list of emotions. Choose one of the emotions.
Don't name the emotion but describe in detail and with lots of concrete images a specific time when you experienced that emotion. Don't name the emotion but describe in detail and with lots of concrete images a specific instance when you observed that emotion in another person. If you can't think of a time, make one up. How does this emotion help people?
I wonder how we'd be if we hadn't fought. Blocking is a blessing, and you used it well. A life without you, is no life at all. I just wish you'd pick up my call. With several attempts I lost faith. I think it's goodbye, this is our fate. I'll always wonder if I made a mistake, If I could've avoided all our heartache.
I didn't really know how else to let go of my emotions. Its really bad, I agree, but I needed some sort of an outlet for the hurt I was feeling. Eddie The Cool Ed Aug Help me get this to trending. Wrote this about a special girl. Navah The Buddaphliii Sep Azurel M Jul You speak with a blind mouth, Look at me, see me She isn't me, Only a fantasy that you clutch till your knuckles grow pale.
I'm not broken, I'm free But you hide behind a veil Afraid to finally let go of Long hair, Lipstick, Lace dress You question each time I show you my truth, "Are you trying to hide your femininity? Spend a day in my skin, in my cage, And don't cry when the words start to pierce you like daggers, Shhhh Stay silent, don't worry, it's just a phase.
Now do you see that "She" just doesn't make sense? You speak to me but your voice seems distant, Bouncing off of me and echoing Like I am the hollow statue of the girl you used to see.
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Mother, Children, Wife, Woman A silent prayer each night for all the things I am not, Stomach swollen, hair to my waist The glow of an expecting mother on my face. Curves, not edges, Pink, not blue. Delicate hands grasping the man who stands in my place.