Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who Needs a Love Poem?

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, I visited the high school where I used to teach English. The ESL had teacher invited me to work with her students. Each day I visited two classes, both small and with kids from a variety of countries, such as Russia, China, Iran, Korea, and El Salvador. We wrote poems and had a great time.

I also visited the International Club after school. The teacher had asked me to read some love poems to them since Valentine's Day is close. I read six poems and then took the group through a quick activity to produce a love poem of their own. We had around 20 kids at this meeting and 3 teachers. The activity took under 10 minutes and produced some really amazing poems. I patterned it loosely after Cecilia Woloch's "Blazon," so it employs anaphora and lots of metaphors. Perhaps you'd like to try it yourself.

Begin 8 lines with “You are my . . . "

Now add the metaphors to complete each line:

1. a dessert (e.g., You are my crème brûlée.)

2. beverage

3. bird

4. jewel

5. tree

6. flower

7. body of water

8. Now repeat line #1 but with an addition (e.g., You are my crème brûlée, my jiggly pudding, my sweet sugar topping).

Add details as you like.

Rearrange lines if you like.

Send to your sweetheart.

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  1. Fun! I'm going to try this out with the students in my afterschool writing groups.

    Thanks for the great prompt.

  2. Thanks Diane! I think I will send one of these to my sweetie.

  3. Actually creme brulee is what i really want right this minute! Great exercise, thank-you!

  4. It's also fun if you choose items that refect a Valentine gone bad or a break up Valentine--for example, the flower of choice might be a Bleeding Heart in that case.

    Kim Klugh


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