Category Archives: Poetry Unit

Color Display: Melted Crayon Canvases

The following information comes from http://www.collegegloss.com/2012/03/wall-art-diy_15.html

DIY WALL ART: MELTED CRAYON CANVASES


One of the aspects of being in college and slowly gaining that independence from your parents is learning how to manage money and survive on that infamous college budget. However, lack of funds is never an excuse to limit your creativity. That’s why decorating a dorm room or apartment can be such fun. You can be as creative as possible, and you can still stay within your budget. It’s all about DIY.Whether it be photos or painting, any kind of wall art adds to a room’s decor. Buying pictures can get expensive and so can developing and framing your own photography. But with this DIY crayon and canvas wall art, going over budget won’t even be an issue.

What you need:

5. Old towel or something to spread on the ground
What to do:
Once you have all of your supplies, spread your old towel on the ground and lay out your canvas and crayons. Then, glue the crayons onto the canvas in any design that you want. Wait about 5 minutes for the glue to dry.
After this, plug in your blow dryer and turn in to the highest setting. Prop your canvas up and hold the blow dryer close to the crayons. Slowly move the blow dryer over all of the crayons. As they melt, the will begin to slide down the canvas creating some sort of rainbow pattern which will vary depending on how you organized your crayons.
 
Once the crayons are melted, leave the canvas propped up for about 20 minutes so that the crayon wax can continue to slide down the canvas and dry. When this is done, you’ll have a funky new item to decorate your space with. The most important thing to remember is that you can always stray from these instructions and make this project your own. Don’t limit your creativity!

Jamie Wilson | Source: image 1image 2image 3

Here is a video you can watch that will help you!
Here is another website that outlines how to make the Melted Crayon display
Here is the google search I did to find images of ideas I can use

Poetry Tile Display

One of the most meaningful moments I had as a student at High Tech High was the creation of my Tile.  The High Tech High student body created a tile that represented themselves.  We decorated the our tiles with bright colors, pictures, and quotes.  My tile, along with my fellow classmates, still stands in the hall of High Tech High today. Outside of teaching, my tile is one way I stay connected with the school and every time I see it I am reminded of the positive moments I had as a High Tech High student.
To keep that tradition alive, my students will be making their own tiles.  The only difference is that we are going to decorate our tiles with poetry.   Poetry can be an efficient way to communicate an idea, emotion or belief.  My example (below) represents an epiphany I experienced that I captured and wrote about in an ode.   Students will have the opportunity to write in various forms of poetry (I am poem, odes, haikus and sonnets) and pick their favorite poem to put on display in the school.  Each students display will last for three years.  At the end of eighth grade, students will have an opportunity to take their poetry tile home to display as she/he likes.  Not only will this serve as a beautiful piece of artwork and writing, it will also make any home a little more cozy.

Step 1: Sand the Masonite.  It’s important to have a smooth surface.  Once you are finished sanding, use a paper towel to wipe the sand from the Masonite.

            

Step 2: Add Gesso to the Masonite. I painted going in one direction (up and down). Apply an even layer of gesso over the Masonite.

             

Step 3: Let the Gesso dry.

Step 4: After the Gesso dries, sand again.   Do not take off the entire layer of Gesso.  You just want to make sure the masonite is smooth and that there is an even amount of Gesso on the Masonite. Once you are finished sanding, wipe the masonite with a paper towel.

Step 5: Gesso the Masonite one more time.  Make sure you have a nice even layer of Gesso over the masonite.

Step 6: Let the second layer of Gesso dry.

Step 7: Paint over the Gesso.

      

Step 8: Let the paint dry.

Step 9: Sand the paint.

Step 10: Paint the masonite one more time.

Step 11: Let the paint dry. This is very important.  The paint needs to dry or the entire display will be be ruined.

Step 12: Put your image and/or text on top of the Masonite.

Step 13: Using a blender marker, highlight over the text and image.  Press down firmly! As you are highlighting use a spoon to press down on the letters and image.  This will help ensure everything transfers to the masonite.

Step 14: lift the paper off the masonite.

Step 15: Let everything dry!

   

Sonnets

A lot of the following information about sonnets can be found on http://www.funny-poems-for-free.com/funny-sonnet-poems.html

Introduction: sonetto, means “a little sound or song.” The sonnet is a popular classical form of poetry.  Traditionally, the sonnet is a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter. You are going to take what you learned about Haikus and take it to the next level! While we are looking to Shakespeare to help us craft our sonnets, sonnets were actually born in Sicily, Italy.   There are two basic types of sonnets, the Italian (Petrarchan) and the English (Shakespearean).  We are going to focus on the Shakespearean.

Shakespearean Sonnet: 
The second major type of sonnet, the Shakespearean, or English sonnet, follows a different set of rules. Here, three quatrains and a couplet follow this rhyme scheme: abab, cdcd, efef, gg.   In order to be proficient in the art of the sonnet, there are a few concepts we must master:

Quatrain
A quatrain is four lines of verse with this rhyme scheme: A-B-A-B, meaning that the first and third, and second and fourth lines rhyme.

Couplet
A couplet is two lines of verse that rhyme. To borrow from the example above, the lines would have an “A-A” rhyme scheme.

Iambic Pentameter
Now we’re getting into some pretty heady stuff. Once you know this, you can go out and impress your friends! (If you have more than one.) Let’s start with “iambic”. That refers to two syllables, one stressed, one not stressed. “Ba dum” would be an example of an iamb. The stress is on the “dum.” Pentameter simply means a line of verse with five groups of two syllables (for a total of ten). (The “penta” part means “five,” as in the “Pentagon,” which is a five-sided building housing the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C.) So “iambic pentameter” would mean a line of verse consisting of five sets of syllable groups, all stressed and unstressed. Here is an example:

Ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum.

Notice the ten syllables total. Notice the stresses (on the “dum”).

Feet: Remember what you learned about syllables to write Haikus?? Well that information is going to be benefit you here.  Feet is the amount of unstressed/stressed syllables in a line.  Feet are marked with slashes

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Do you notice anything about the excerpt above? How many syllables are in each line? 

Analyze the following poem from Denise Rodgers (click on the link to go to her website for funny sonnets) 

The sonnet form is old and full of dust
And yet I want to learn to write one well.
To learn new forms and grow is quite a must,
But I will learn it quickly, I can tell.

And so I sit, today, with pen in hand,
Composing three new quatrains with a rhyme.
The rhythm flows like wind at my command.
The A-B-A-B form consumes my time.

But I’m not done until there’s fourteen lines.
One ending couplet, after three quatrains.
I’ve tried to write this new form several times.
The effort’s huge; I have to rack my brain.

But I persist, my fourteen lines now done.
I wrote my poem; my sonnet work is won.

What do you notice about the poem? Can you find the elements mentioned above (Stressed/ unstressed syllables, 10 syllables in a line? the proper rhyme scheme?) 

Shakespearean Sonnet Check list:

1.  Does your sonnet have 14 lines?
2. Does your sonnet follow the rhyme pattern?
3. Does each line in your sonnet have 10 syllables

Haikus

Introduction: Japan is a country where many customs, ways of living, sounds, smells, and tastes are different than they are in our country. Hundreds of years ago, the Japanese created an art form – in the shape of a small verse. The verse is haiku (HIGH-koo). In haikus, we share the thoughts, the moods, and the feelings of the Japanese poets. I love Haikus, even though they are very tricky to write! I feel like my skills as poet are always tested when I begin to write Haikus.  As the Haiku master, Matsuo Basho once said, “A poet needs to discipline himself every day.”  To write a Haiku you truly need to be disciplined in poetry so make sure you practice!

 The Essential Haiku – Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa: To learn about Haikus we will study the work of the three masters of Haku! The book we will read from is called The Essential Haiku – Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa.

 A brief history of Haikus

Haikus grew from an early writing form called tanka in which one person wrote the first three lines of a poem.  A second person wrote the closing two lines. The great Japanese writer, Basho (1644-94) grew tired of this game. He felt that the first three lines could stand-alone. In this way, Haiku was born.

Form:

The three lines are often arranged so that the first line has five (5) syllables, the second line has seven (7) syllables, and the third line has five (5) syllables. This is called the 5-7-5 rule. Haiku does not always follow the 5-7-5 rule. But to be haiku, the verse must express a thought, feeling or mood. The verse cannot be composed of more than 17 syllables; it cannot have more than 3 lines; and it cannot rhyme.

Examples:

As you read each verse below, put yourself in the poet’s place – try to share what he or she is feeling. Then share the poem with someone else. You may find that others receive a different image or feel a different mood than you do, all while reading the same words. That is one reason a haiku verse is often accompanied by an illustration.

 Here is an example of a Haiku written by the great Japanese writer Basho.  Ask yourself, what season is it?

 This snowy morning


That black crow I hate so much ….


But he’s beautiful!


—Basho

 These Haiku verses were written by kids.  
As you read these, ask yourself, “What season is it?”

 We could hear the trees …


As we went through the forest


Play with the wind


—Roger, age 10

A castle standing


On a hill boldly watching


The time goes on …. on


—Therese, age 11

The above examples of haiku verse, written by Basho, Roger, and Therese, can be compared in many ways. For one thing, they all follow the 5-7-5 rule. Another way to compare them is by looking at their use of seasons. Using nature to express a mood or image is at the heart of haiku. All three of these verses use nature or the natural movement of things to express their thoughts. Basho’s verse takes place in the winter, which gives the black crow against the white snow its beauty. Roger’s verse is probably set in the summer or perhaps in the fall, when leaves are on the trees. Therese’s verse is more timeless – it flows through many seasons, while keeping itself aloof.

“Having few words and pausing at the end of each short line gives a special feeling to haiku. Even a simple statement sounds thoughtful—as though it has a deeper meaning.”  Here is dialogue from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, and presented it as if it were haiku. By taking a sentence out of context, and putting it into haiku form, they were able to easily change a simple comment into a thoughtful statement.

 How many times will


We be able to witness


A dragon hatching?


—Ron Weasley

How to write a Haiku:

 1.      First, get a picture in your mind of a thing or a person that made you angry or sad or happy or glad –

 “Or maybe you think …
A blanket wrapped around you …
By someone you Love”

 – can be made into haiku.

2.  Write down your image using 10 to 15 words. Then put it into the 5-7-5 form.
3.   Try to make others see your picture or idea.  An illustration of what you are trying to express might help

Your Assignments: PLEASE READ ALL THREE OF THEM!

Assignment 1: TURN YOUR “I AM POEM” INTO A SERIES OF HAIKU’S
 Your mission is to turn your “I am poem” into a series of Haiku’s.   There are a total of 18 lines in your “I am Poem” You must put the 18 lines into 6 groups of 3.  It doesn’t matter which 3 you decide to put into a group.  The important thing is to have a total of 6 Haikus that have 3 lines in them.

Assignment 2: What am I? Haikus: These act like a riddle. You use “What am I?” Haikus to describe something! We will take the “What am I” Haikus to play a guessing game.  The class will try to attempt to guess what you are describing after listening or reading your Haiku

Assignment 3: Seasonal Haiku: Describe one of the 4 seasons using the Haiku form.

Here are 2 examples of a “What am I?” Haiku:

1) Green and speckled legs,                                   2)  In a pouch I grow

Hop on logs and lily pads                                         On a Southern Continent

Splash in cool water.                                                  Strange Creatures I know.


Here is an example of Turning your I am poem into a series of Haikus

Here is a sample of what I made up for my “I am Poem”

  1. I am bold and Energetic
  2. I wonder what the meaning of life is
  3. I hear the sound of silence bouncing against the wall
  4. I see myself when I look in the sky
  5. I want equality in wealth
  6. I am bold and energetic
  7. I pretend to not be shy
  8. I feel like a pink elephant
  9. I touch the thoughts of my imagination
  10. 10.  I worry about people living in poverty
  11. 11.  I cry when I think about people passing away

12. I am bold and energetic

The next step is to pick three lines that you think will go well together and start putting them into the 5-7-5 syllable format.

I like lines 6,7,9.  (It is important to note that I could have picked any 3 lines but I chose lines 6-7-9 because I thought they would sound nice together).  Now I need to figure out how to cut each line into the correct format.

6. I am bold and energetic

7. I pretend to not be shy

9. I touch the thoughts of my imagination

Here is one way I can turn my I am poem into a Haiku:

My bold energy

Pretending not to be shy

Thoughts inside my head

How To write haiku:

  1. First, get a picture in your mind of a thing or a person that made you angry or sad or happy or glad – “Or maybe you think … A blanket wrapped around you … By someone you Love” – can be made into haiku.

  2. Write down your image using 10 to 15 words. Then put it into the 5-7-5 form.

  3. Try to make others see your picture or idea.

  4. An illustration of what you are trying to express might help.

     

 

Haiku Art Activity

Haiku Challenge Activity:

Please Note: There is a spelling mistake in the example provided.  Learn from my mistake and have a peer critique your work before you make permanent changes. (Outlining in sharpie, painting with water colors, etc..)

Google image search a season taking place in Japan.  For example, you would search “Japan spring” find a season that has a photo that you like or would like to recreate.  If you see something that stands out in your search and would only like to draw that item that is fine.  For example, if you Google search “Japan Spring” you will come across pictures of “Cherry Blossoms” If you would like to create a photo of a cherry blossom then that is fine.   The important thing is that whatever you are creating is related to your Haiku and season.  In this case, Cherry Blossoms have a lot to do with spring and the sample Haiku.  Let’s begin!

Materials: Watercolor paper, paint brushes, cup of water, 1 black sharpie, crayons, watercolors, and scratch paper, black construction paper.

Directions:

1. Google Search a season taking place in Japan.  I chose to google search “Japan Spring”  After browsing a few images I decided to pick this one.

Image I chose after googling "Japan Spring"

2. Once you have the photo draw what you see. (remember it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Just try and capture the details that matter.  The ones that you have to have in order to know what the image is. Just like a Haiku)  If you are having trouble drawing your image, you can google search another image that is larger if you would like to get a better idea of how to draw your original image.  Since it was difficult to draw cherry blossoms I looked at other images of cherry blossoms on Google and found this one.

3.  Draw your image on the watercolor paper in Pencil.  (It was strongly recommend that you practice on a piece of blank paper first)   Please note: In the image below the poem is already written on the watercolor.  It is better to write your poem on a blank piece of paper then cut out the poem so you can see where you want to put it in relation to you image.

4. Continue Drawing your image.

5. Once you are doing drawing the photo in pencil you may begin outlining the parts you wan to stand out in Black Sharpie (I also colored in the tree with black crayon.  You should start coloring after you outline.  I got a little over zealous!  In this example The Pedals are not being highlighted because cherry blossoms seem soft and you will want your picture to reflect that!

6. You may now start picking out your colors from your crayon box. This is the one we used.

7.  Once you have the colors you like, test them on a blank sheet of paper to make sure you like the way they look.

8.  You may now begin coloring the parts of your image you would like to color in.

9.  Using your paintbrush add a light layer of water of the entire picture, Yes over the entire picture.

10.  Take out your watercolors and begin brushing in your desired colors.  Remember, if you hold your paintbrush like you hold your pencil you will have more control!!!

10.   Once you have painted in your desired colors you may now start to work on the background.  The background in the original photo was black, however we decided to change the background to a light blue color so the our image doesn’t turn out to be so dark.   To Begin the background add another layer of water (using your paintbrush) to the white space that you want to use for the background. Sorry, for the lack of a photo.  The picture quality wasn’t to great!

11. Paint in the background using the colors that you want to use.

11.  LET IT DRY BEFORE YOU WRITE YOUR POEM!!!

12.  Write your poem in the desired space using a black sharpie.

That’s all folks!!! Remember this is an example.  Try and make yours better 🙂  By the way, the sunflower is a painting that lives in my room!

My Cityscape / I am Poem

To introduce ourselves into the beautiful art form known as poetry we are going to create “My Cityscapes” The instructions for the project can be found here.  There were corrections that were made to the instructions and I will list them here.

Here are steps with pictures that should help you with the process.

The first thing that you need to do is finish your “Where I’m from poem” Here are a few examples of the first drafts of “Where I’m from Poem” and “I am Poem”

photo 2 (1) photo 1 (1)photo 3 (1) 

The second thing you need to do is create a draft of your cityscape.  Remember to do this in pencil!!

Once your draft is completed, you can now begin cutting out pictures that represent pieces of your “Where I’m from” Poem.  Remember to not glue them down until you are happy with the way it will look.

If you are happy with the way your cityscape will look. Begin Gluing your “Buildings”

After your building are glued down you should start outlining your buildings with a Black Sharpie.  In this photo the student drew windows on top of the buildings.

Once your buildings are outlined in Black Sharpie you should begin writing your “Where I’m from” poem in PENCIL

Once your “Where I’m from” is written in pencil you should outline it in Black Sharpie

After you have outlined your “Where I’m from” in Black Sharpie You can start decorating your “Cityscape” by drawing clouds in any blank areas, drawing birds, making clouds around some of the words you used in your “Where I’m from poem”  Here are some ways some students decorated their “Cityscapes”

 

Poetry!

Poetry by far is my favorite kind of communication.  A poem can be as complex as a haiku or as simple as two lines of pros. Our first project is going to be a short one but the product will be beautiful.  We are going to learn about English Sonnets, Odes, Haikus, and free verse poems.  We are going to analyze poems from a variety of poets.  The primary source of our poetry project will come from The Seagull Reader: Poems.  We are not going to read the entire book.  We are only going to read poems that are appropriate for the 6th grade audience.  If you are interested in buying the book for personal enjoyment, the link can be found here (as always I recommend buying the book used to save some cash!)

After we learn about different types of poetry we are going to write and critique our own poems and make poetry tiles.  You will pick your best poetry sample (This can be an entire poem, if it fits or it can be your best stanza in your best poem). Your poetry tile will be displayed in the 6th grade hallway and  will look something like this:

This above photo is my example.  I must admit, the poem in the photo is not my own.  It belongs to one of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda.  Students will not be allowed to use someone else’s poem on their photo.  Again, what you see above is only an example and is not going up because it does not follow the above rule.

We will grow as poets by following the 6 traits of writing and following some of the guidelines that can be found in The Seagull Reader: Poems.  Let the Journey begin!!!

The Speaker: Who is the speaker? Well it depends.  There is one very important rule we must follow that will ensure our classroom is a safe place for us poets.  Here is the rule…. You can never assume that the speaker of the poem is who the poem is about.  There will be times when we will know exactly who the speaker is but we want to leave room for people who want to remain anonymous, anonymous.  Think about how wrong you would be in assuming the poem written on top of my photo is about me! (Again, that poem belongs to the great Pablo Neruda)

Tone: The tone in a poem is the same as tone in speech.  By this time your lives you can tell when someone is speaking to you with an angry voice, sad voice, excited voice.   Poetry works the same way.  The hard thing is that there are no facial cues or in some cases oral cues to what the tone of a poem is.   Here is an example that can be found in The Seagull reader: Poems

                    Example 1: how are you doing”
                                             “I’m doing all right, I guess.”

Compare example 1 with example 2

Example 2:  “How are you doing?” he asked lightly.
I’m doing all right,” She said slowly, with a resigned look on her face.  “I guess”

Isn’t it easier to read the sarcastic tone in Example 2?

Haiku

Introduction: Japan is a country where many customs, ways of living, sounds, smells, and tastes are different than they are in our country. Hundreds of years ago, the Japanese created an art form – in the shape of a small verse. The verse is haiku (HIGH-koo). In haiku, we share the thoughts, the moods, and the feelings of the Japanese poets. I love Haikus, even though they are very tricky to write! I feel like my skills as poet are always test when I begin to write Haikus.  As the Haiku master, Matsuo Basho once said, “A poet needs to discipline himself every day.”  To write a Haiku you truly need to be disciplined in poetry so make sure you practice!

The Essential Haiku – Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa: To learn about Haikus we will study the work of the three masters of Haku! The book we will read from is called The Essential Haiku – Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa.

A brief history of Haikus:  Haiku grew from an early writing game in which the first three lines of a poem were written by one person. A second person wrote the closing two lines. The great Japanese writer, Basho (1644-94) grew tired of this game. He felt that the first three lines could stand alone. In that way, haiku was born. Haiku comes from a type of Japanese poetry called tanka that was popular and later modifiede during the 9th through 12 centuries. Three great masters of Haiku, Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, and Kobayashi Issa have influenced the way Haikus are written since the seventtenth century.  All three Haiku masters were from rural villages and went to the capital of Japan, Edo as Tokyo was then called to learn their art.

The three lines are often arranged so that the first line has five (5) syllables, the second line has seven (7) syllables, and the third line has five (5) syllables. This is called the 5-7-5 rule. Haiku does not always follow the 5-7-5 rule. But to be haiku, the verse must express a thought, feeling or mood. The verse cannot be composed of more than 17 syllables; it cannot have more than 3 lines; and it cannot rhyme.

As you read each verse below, put yourself in the poet’s place – try to share what he or she is feeling. Then share the poem with someone else. You may find that others receive a different image or feel a different mood than you do, all while reading the same words. That is one reason a haiku verse is often accompanied by an illustration.

Here is an example of haiku written by the great Japanese writer Basho.  Ask yourself, what season is it?

This snowy morning
That black crow I hate so much ….
But he’s beautiful!

—Basho

These haiku verses were written by kids.  
As you read these, ask yourself, “What season is it?”

We could hear the trees …
As we went through the forest
Play with the wind
—Roger, age 10

A castle standing
On a hill boldly watching
The time goes on …. on
—Therese, age 11

The above examples of haiku verse, written by Basho, Roger, and Therese, can be compared in many ways. For one thing, they all follow the 5-7-5 rule. Another way to compare them is by looking at their use of seasons. Using nature to express a mood or image is at the heart of haiku. All three of these verses use nature or the natural movement of things to express their thoughts. Basho’s verse takes place in the winter, which gives the black crow against the white snow its beauty. Roger’s verse is probably set in the summer or perhaps in the fall, when leaves are on the trees. Therese’s verse is more timeless – it flows through many seasons, while keeping itself aloof.

“Having few words and pausing at the end of each short line gives a special feeling to haiku. Even a simple statement sounds thoughtful—as though it has a deeper meaning.”  Here is dialogue from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, and presented it as if it were haiku. By taking a sentence out of context, and putting it into haiku form, they were able to easily change a simple comment into a thoughtful statement.

How many times will
We be able to witness
A dragon hatching?
—Ron Weasley

How To write haiku:

  1. First, get a picture in your mind of a thing or a person that made you angry or sad or happy or glad – “Or maybe you think … A blanket wrapped around you … By someone you Love” – can be made into haiku.

  2. Write down your image using 10 to 15 words. Then put it into the 5-7-5 form.

  3. Try to make others see your picture or idea.

  4. An illustration of what you are trying to express might help.


How to write an Ode

How to write an Ode:

An Ode is a poem where you praise an object that is special or valued.  Here are some steps for planning and writing an ode:

 

  1. 1.    Planning Your Ode:
    1. Choose a subject matter.  Consider the subject matter that you wish to write about, and remember that beauty can be found in the least expected places.  Your subject should be something that you absolutely love and adore.  You should find it beautiful, even if no one else does.  BRAINSTORM:

i.     What makes your subject beautiful )Visually, emotionally, spiritually, etc.)

ii.     What does it smell like? Feel like? Sound like?

iii.     What are its wonderful uses?

iv.     Why does it make you happy?

v.     What does it remind you of?

vi.     When do you use/need this subject?

vii.     How does it make your life better?

  1. Use Metaphor/Simile: Compare the object or events in life that your readers can relate to.  Develop precise and yet surprising connections for your readers.  Help them visualize how special your subject is by comparing it to other images.
  2. Visualize a Context: Decide on a scene (setting) that will begin with the poem and set up the ode so that it will help readers understand how you came to have/known the subject matter.  Who gave it to you? Where did you first see it/find it?
  3. Plan the Structure of the Ode.  Decide how many lines each stanza will contain. Decide how many stanzas will make up the ode, realizing that most odes are serious poems comprised of several stanzas.  Decide on a rhyme scheme (or choose free verse)
  4. 2.    Writing Your Ode:
    1. Plan the Structure:  Fit the ideas from your planning process into phrases and stanzas.  Use a thesaurus to discover synonyms for word that may not fit the structure and rhyme scheme of your ode.  Don’t expect to write the ode in one sitting.  Good poems are short works that usually require multiple revisions and edits
    2. Read and Revise.  Read your draft aloud to see if it flows easily and makes sense.  Shift words and phrases around to make it sound better.  Add alliteration and internal rhymes to strengthen it.  Allow other people to critique your ode. Eliminate words that make the poem sound clumsy.  Prepare to rewrite an ode several times until it is well crafted and powerful.

Here is sample poem by Pablo Neruda called “Ode to My Socks”

 

Mara Mori brought me

A pair of socks

Which she knitted herself

With her sheepherder’s hands,

Two socks as soft as rabbits.

I slipped my feet into them

As if they were two cases

Knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin

Violent socks,

My feet were two fish made of wool,

Two long sharks

Sea blue, short through

By one golden thread,

Two immense blackbirds,

Two cannons,

My feet were honored in this way

By these heavenly socks.

They were so handsome for the first time

My feet seemed to me unacceptable

Like two decrepit firemen,

Firemen unworthy of that woven fire,

Of those glowing socks.

 

Nevertheless, I resisted the sharp temptation

To save them somewhere as schoolboys

Keep fireflies,

As learned men collect

Sacred texts,

I resisted the mad impulse to put them

In a golden cage and each day give them birdseed and pieces of pink melon.

Like explorers in the jungle

Who hand over the very rare green deer

To the spit and eat it with remorse,

I stretched out my feet and pulled on

The magnificent socks and then my shoes.

 

The moral of my ode is this:

Beauty is twice beauty

And what is good is double good

When it is a matter of two socks

Made of wool in winter.

Odes

Introduction:  Odes are one of my favorite forms of poetry.  Odes can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece! In those days odes were normally accompanied with music.  Odes relate to the High Tech High community for many reasons. First, High Tech Middle Media Arts understands the importance of recognizing people for positive things that they do and expressing our love and appreciation for others, which is what an Ode poem is all about.

Brief history of Odes: Odes are poems that express personal and emotional feelings. Ode comes from the Greek word aeidein, which means to sing or chant.  There are three types of Odes: Pindaric, Horatian, and Irregular.  The Pindaric form of poetry is named after an ancient Greek poet named Pindar who is largely credited with creating Odes.  There are three typical types of odes: the Pindaric, Horatian, and Irregular. The Pindaric is named for the ancient Greek poet Pindar, who is credited with inventing the ode. Pindaric odes were performed with a chorus and dancers, and often composed to celebrate athletic victories. They contain a formal opening, or strophe, of complex metrical structure, followed by an antistrophe, which mirrors the opening, and an epode, the final closing section of a different length and composed with a different metrical structure.  You will not have to follow the traditional forms of odes this semester!

Pablo Neruda:  Pablo Neruda is one of my favorite poets! Pablo Neruda was born Ricardo Eliecer Neali Reyes in Southern Chile on July 12 1904.  He would later change his name to Pablo Neruda. Neruda wrote poems in different genres but I think he is particular gifted at writing Odes and we will focus on the odes of Pablo Neruda to see what odes should LOOK like, SOUND like, and FEEL like.  We will use two books to study the odes of Neruda.  The first book is called Selected odes of Pablo Neruda and the second is Love – Ten poems by Pablo Neruda. The following is an excerpt from the Translator’s Introduction in Selected odes of Pablo Neruda:

The Spanish qualifier elemental is equivalent in English to both “elemental” and “elementary.”  The poems sing of the elements and evoke nature.  They praise fundamental and essential subjects. Neruda once said, “I confess what to write with simplicity has been my most difficult undertaking.   What I like is to change tones, seek out all possible sounds, pursue every color, and look for life forces where they may be.  My poetry became clear and happy when it branched off toward humbler subjects and things.” Here are two snippets of poems by Pablo Neruda that I found to be striking.

How to write an Ode:

An Ode is a poem where you praise an object that is special or valued.  Here are some steps for planning and writing an ode:

  1. 1.    Planning Your Ode:
    1. Choose a subject matter.  Consider the subject matter that you wish to write about, and remember that beauty can be found in the least expected places.  Your subject should be something that you absolutely love and adore.  You should find it beautiful, even if no one else does.  BRAINSTORM:

i.     What makes your subject beautiful )Visually, emotionally, spiritually, etc.)

ii.     What does it smell like? Feel like? Sound like?

iii.     What are its wonderful uses?

iv.     Why does it make you happy?

v.     What does it remind you of?

vi.     When do you use/need this subject?

vii.     How does it make your life better?

  1. Use Metaphor/Simile: Compare the object or events in life that your readers can relate to.  Develop precise and yet surprising connections for your readers.  Help them visualize how special your subject is by comparing it to other images.
  2. Visualize a Context: Decide on a scene (setting) that will begin with the poem and set up the ode so that it will help readers understand how you came to have/known the subject matter.  Who gave it to you? Where did you first see it/find it?
  3. Plan the Structure of the Ode.  Decide how many lines each stanza will contain. Decide how many stanzas will make up the ode, realizing that most odes are serious poems comprised of several stanzas.  Decide on a rhyme scheme (or choose free verse)
  4. 2.    Writing Your Ode:
    1. Plan the Structure:  Fit the ideas from your planning process into phrases and stanzas.  Use a thesaurus to discover synonyms for word that may not fit the structure and rhyme scheme of your ode.  Don’t expect to write the ode in one sitting.  Good poems are short works that usually require multiple revisions and edits
    2. Read and Revise.  Read your draft aloud to see if it flows easily and makes sense.  Shift words and phrases around to make it sound better.  Add alliteration and internal rhymes to strengthen it.  Allow other people to critique your ode. Eliminate words that make the poem sound clumsy.  Prepare to rewrite an ode several times until it is well crafted and powerful
Here is a sample ODE by Pablo Neruda called “ODE TO A COUPLE”
My Queen, how beautiful
to follow the path of
your small footprints,
how beautiful to see
your eyes
everywhere I look,
how beautiful your face
greeting each new day,
and sinking
every night
into the ame
fragment
of shadow.
How beautiful
to see
time running
like the sea
breaking over the prow.

Here is sample poem by Pablo Neruda called “Ode to My Socks”

Mara Mori brought me

A pair of socks

Which she knitted herself

With her sheepherder’s hands,

Two socks as soft as rabbits.

I slipped my feet into them

As if they were two cases

Knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin

Violent socks,

My feet were two fish made of wool,

Two long sharks

Sea blue, short through

By one golden thread,

Two immense blackbirds,

Two cannons,

My feet were honored in this way

By these heavenly socks.

They were so handsome for the first time

My feet seemed to me unacceptable

Like two decrepit firemen,

Firemen unworthy of that woven fire,

Of those glowing socks.

Nevertheless, I resisted the sharp temptation

To save them somewhere as schoolboys

Keep fireflies,

As learned men collect

Sacred texts,

I resisted the mad impulse to put them

In a golden cage and each day give them birdseed and pieces of pink melon.

Like explorers in the jungle

Who hand over the very rare green deer

To the spit and eat it with remorse,

I stretched out my feet and pulled on

The magnificent socks and then my shoes.

The moral of my ode is this:

Beauty is twice beauty

And what is good is double good

When it is a matter of two socks

Made of wool in winter.

Challenge Activity:

Write an Ode with the Following Pattern – ABABACDDC… meaning that the first, third, and fifth lines rhyme, and the second and fourth rhyme, and so on.