17 April 2007

Teaching Poetry Spring 2007: Lesson #3 — Imagery & The Senses

We began today's lesson with a refresher on the sonnet, as well as an expansion of the idea.

I talked about how the form mimics a waltz, partners dance and court each other until they inevitably wind up as a couple (couplet). Of course, this form mimics the early stages of love, so we talked about love in the broader sense. Not so surprisingly, most of them cited animals/pets as things they love. Snowboarding, skiing, and candy ranked high on their lists as well.

I finally picked 5 students to come up to the front of the class to read their sonnets. Of course, there were many disappointed students who were dying to get up in the front of the class but didn't.

After each of the five read their sonnets, I asked the class to name the line that stuck out in their head and the image it created. Some of the poems were more like lists, but others created vivid images, like the wolf borrowing the girl's kiwi lip balm while playing golf.

All of this led to the next activity: sense poems. I set up the rubric as follows:
  1. Choose one sense from the following: taste, touch, smell (hearing and sight not allowed).
  2. Choose one item to apply the sense to (i.e. the smell of a rose).
  3. Write a poem between 5-10 lines long that only uses a simile (like & as) twice.
I'll be curious to see how these turn out, as this is pretty advanced stuff for most writers: the neglected senses, especially smell.

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