Revising our first IOC attempts

Thanks to Flickr and Creative Commons for providing this image. By surrealmuse

Click the image to view “Poetry and Basketball”

DUE APRIL 4th:  Your three poetry selections, with your explanation of why you feel they make for good IOC material.  You may select your poems from HERE  or HERE.

Looking ahead, we need to refocus our discussions around the concept of CHOICES.

What choices did the poet make in designing the poem…and what effect was desired in the making of that choice?

When analyzing those choices, it is helpful to make use of the ‘SOAPSTONE‘ model.  Identify the choices made in each of the following AND look out for choices which connect.

Who is speaking?  Is the speaker biased?  What from the text makes you think so? What about that person is ‘poetic’?
What is the Occasion? Why would anyone write this poem?  Why would a publisher want to publish it?  Why should you read it and study it? What about that occasion is ‘poetic’?
Who is the intended audience?  Is it targeted at an individual, group, or a global audience?  Does the author use words that only a specific group of people would relate to?  Does the speaker speak to issues that everyone would be interested in?           
What is the purpose? What does this poem want from you, as an emotional being, and as an intellectual being?  What about that purpose is ‘poetic’?
What is the subject of the document? How would you classify the topic/main idea?  What about the poem allows you to access the subject?
Is this poem serious, humorous, sarcastic, ironic, satirical, tongue-in-cheek, solemn, objective. How do you know? Where in the text does it support your answer? How can you perceive the TONE of the poem?  Great vocabulary to use when discussing the tone:

When discussing the choices an author has made, it is important to use academic language.  Here are words that are helpful for better discussing what poets do.


DUE FRIDAY, select one of the three poems below, and prepare a SEVEN minute IOC which delivers your commentary in an ORGANIZED way.  What main idea will your IOC focus around?

The Alphabet Conspiracy

By Rita Mae Reese

     The word is the making of the world. —Wallace Stevens
It’s a filmstrip afternoon
            and we’re all grateful
   to the humming projector
            in the middle of our desks,
the closed blinds, the absence of a real adult.
There’s a vague promise of revelation
            from the title
   and the dark, tree-lined streets, the voice
            calling from a house
carrying within it our freedom not to answer.
Inside another house, a little girl in a pretty dress
            is falling asleep
   at her father’s desk, turning into
            Alice in Wonderland
as her mind falls down the rabbit holes of grammar.
The Mad Hatter and Jabberwocky
            tell her to lure
   the letters into a trap so they can beat them
            to death with mallets.
We’d like to see that. Without words
no one could tell us what to do.
            We know grammar is just a byproduct,
   like schizophrenia, of a brain that grew
            too fast for its own good
and that history is a series of conspiracies
by accidental despots. Mrs. Bradford is
            falling asleep on the wide window ledge,
   her blue polyester pants gapped
            to reveal her white socks
and pink spotted shins. We try not to look.
The Mad Hatter doesn’t say that the alphabet
            was first used to keep track of property
   or that for centuries people believed
            if women learned to write
the lost world would never be recovered
or that the Mayans believed
            outsiders wrote things down
   nor in order to remember them
            but to free themselves
into the work of forgetting.
That year Mrs. Bradford taught us about
            the Lewis & Clark expedition
   over and over again. We never learned
            why it mattered so much to her
or what possible use it could be to anyone.
The professor tells Judy about
            the thousands of words
   Arabs needed for camels and their parts,
            the dozen words Eskimos had for snow,
and a chimp who learned seven human words.
A voice made visible says:
            magic is a matter of fact to you,
   Every miracle has to have its qualifications,
            reservations, footnotes
and our heads rise from our desks.
The rest of the year will be a series of
            substitute teachers
   who teach us nothing but footnotes
            and their own reservations.
Mrs. Bradford dead of a brain tumor.
We sit in our sixth-grade desks with the blinds
            closed against the tree-lined streets
   as the letters of the world rise up
            and, forming a single word,
eclipse our world and fill our mouths with shadows.

Snow Day

By Billy Collins

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows
the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.
In a while, I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch
sending a cold shower down on us both.
But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news
that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed.
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with—some will be delighted to hear—
the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.
So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.
And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.

The Length of the Hour

By Cynthia Huntington

New houses relax on the fields.
Garage doors open soundlessly
to admit the monster. Tires stretched
over forty pounds of air
pressure float across gravel.
The boy closes the last storm
door on the last evening
paper and runs to the car
where his mother waits. She does not
answer him; the door slam freezes
her dreams. It is January.
A dog chained to a barn door
keeps barking. Somebody’s angry,
scared to let him go.
On the other side
of a forest past these fields,
wolves sniff the hard snow
of the tundra. I lay beside the only
tree for warmth, there
where the pack might find me.
The house takes care of us now.
Look at the meat
browning under the light.
The refrigerator switches on;
ice crashes into the tray.
Here are locks in case someone
wants to do us harm. Remember
how the police had to pound and pound
to wake us that night a white Cadillac
leapt from the icy road
into the arms of our maple! It hung there,
empty, doors flung wide—
it was a great white petal of a car,
breathing under the gas-lights, opening
and opening.






21 responses to “Revising our first IOC attempts

  1. Ghost – Cynthia Huntington

    This is a f**ing poem – Catherine Wagner

    Portraits – Mark Irwin

    Liam 10.3 , I chose the 3 poems for the IOC because when I observe the poem carefully, there are some elements in the poem that can contribute a lot for the IOC

  2. My Picture Left in Scotland – BEN JONSON

    Delight in Disorder – ROBERT HERRICK

    Caged Bird – MAYA ANGELOU

  3. Did I Miss Anything? – Tom Wayman

    My Life – Joe Wenderoth

    End of April – Phillis Levin

    I chose the poems above because all of the the three poems contains interesting elements that can be discussed during the IOC

  4. Annabel Lee, Eldoraro & Sonnet-To Science (all by Edgar Allan Poe)

    The three poems I chose above are all made by Edgar Allan Poe, a famous poet and one of my favourite. The choice of words, setting and the theme that he chose creates a lot of material to be discussed in an IOC. Hence, I chose Edgar Allan Poe’s poems.

  5. Introduction to Poetry – Billy Collins

    Bad Day – Kay Ryan

    The Farewell – Edward Field

    Adric 10.3, I chose these three poems because they’re good to read and when I observe them closely, the poem held a certain meaning in each words.

  6. Football – Louis Jenkins

    This is a f**ing poem – Catherine Wagner

    Portraits – Mark Irwin

    Liam 10.3 , I chose the 3 poems for the IOC because when I observe the poem carefully, there are some elements in the poem that can contribute a lot for the IOC

  7. (Final Choice)

    Football – Louis Jenkins

    Love Song – Carol Muske-Dukes

    Biscuit – Jane Kenyon

    Liam 10.3 , I chose the 3 poems for the IOC because when I observe the poem carefully, there are some elements in the poem that can contribute a lot for the IOC

  8. Snow flake – Emily Dickinson

    Romance – Edgar Allan Poe

    A Dream – Edgar Allan Poe

  9. The Summer Day- Mary Oliver
    The White Train- John Spaulding
    London- William Blake

    I chose the three poems because they were some the most appealing poems. More, I think I can find meanings of the poems that will later on help me to do the IOC.

  10. To a Daughter Leaving Home – Linda Pastan
    Fat Is Not a Fairy Tale – Jane Yolen
    A New Poet – Linda Pastan

    I chose these poems because I would like to analyze and know deeper about the poem.

  11. The Summer I Was Sixteen – Geraldine Connolly

    Sweet Dreams – BY JOYCE ARMOR

    The End and the Beginning – Wislawa Szymborska

    I chose the 3 poems above because the title and the content of the poem seems very interesting and it has lots of elements which will be very helpful for my IOC!!

  12. Fast Break – Adward Hirsch

    The Last Wolf – Mary Tallmountain

    The End and the Beginning – Wislawa Szymborska

  13. 1. You Say You Love by John Keats
    2. I Rise by Maya Angelou
    3. Faith Is A Fine Invention by Emily Dickinson (if it’s too short, The Man Move Earth by Cathy Song)

  14. 1. The Distances
    2. This Moment
    3. Forgotten Planet

    The reason I chose those poems are because they all have secret message inside it, which makes it easier to be analyzed.

  15. 1. My life
    2. Lesson
    3. Before She died

    I chose this 3 poems because it contains strong meaning and strong elements that is good to apply in reality.

    • I chose these three poems because they look interesting, in both the words used and the hidden meaning.

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