Thanks to Flickr and Creative Commons for providing this image. By surrealmuse
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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: http://www.mshogue.com/AP/tone.htm
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,
and our heads rise from our desks.
The rest of the year will be a series of
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.
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