Standard: ELA10RL3 The student deepens understanding of literary works by relating them to contemporary context or historical background, as well as to works from other time periods.
Learning Target: Students will look at poems that use a controlling metaphor, and learn about the tanka poetic form.
Those are two of my favorite poems, hands down. I also like “Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff” by A.E. Housman and “Astrophil and Stella no. 1″ by Sir Philip Sydney. But we’re not really going to closely study either of those
Anyway, today in class we read a poem called “Metaphor” by Eve Merriam, which can be found on page 722 of your textbook. This poem uses a single controlling metaphor to represent something. There are a couple of similar poems to this – I may have shared my Zombie Metaphor poem with you, depending on how sick of zombies the class has gotten. And, of course, we wrote a poetry journal on “Metaphor,” which means we’ve now done 50% of our major writing assignment for this unit! WHOO!!!
In case you’ve missed a day, here’s the breakdown of how a poetry journal should look:
- MLA Heading (Student name, teacher name, class name, date. All of that on the upper left corner of your paper)
- The title of the poem, centered and in quotation marks.
- Three quotes from the poem. These should include a parenthetical citation, which is the author’s last name and the line number, in parentheses, after the quote. A period goes at the end. For example: “This is a quote” (Name line 2).
- A paragraph that summarizes the poem. No abstract thought or interpretations here, just write a paragraph that tells what happened in the poem.
- A paragraph that analyzes the poem. This is where you want to give your thoughts or interpretations. Also, this paragraph should include a literary device that was used in the poem. The PowerPoint with the complete list of devices we’re studying is in the post below this one.
That’s it! I think everyone in the class can make a 100% on this writing assignment!
Anyway, after we read “Metaphor” and wrote our poetry journal, we reviewed our figurative language from yesterday. We then moved on to looking at some Tanka poems. You can find four Tankas in your textbook, on pages 680 and 688. These Japanese poems are really short, and a relative of the Haiku. Traditionally, they focus on nature, but modern Tankas can be about anything.
Finally, we used our new-found knowledge of Tankas, Haikus, and metaphors to write our own poem. You have a choice here between composing in the strict form of Tanka, or writing a freestyle poem that uses a controlling metaphor, like “Metaphor” by Eve Merriam did. I look forward to reading all those poems!!
BONUS POEM! Metaphors by Sylvia Plath