There is no right or wrong way to read a poem. Because there is no magic formula, this adds to the joy of poetry reading. Yes, I said joy. It is likely that different approaches work for different types of learners. However, it is worthwhile looking at guidelines for reading poetry and finding what works for you. I like these guidelines:
It is important to be familiar with literary devices and terms as you read and/or write poetry. He is link to an expansive yet easy to read glossary.
Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall
The next poem we study will be a ballad which is a simple narrative poem composed in short stanzas and adapted for singing.
This ballad makes use of allusion which is to refer to a real or fictitious person and/or event in a literary work.
Before studying the ballad, let’s explore the event which the poem alludes to.
Watch this clip and be prepared to describe what you see and hear.
Here is another version of the same ballad. Be prepared to describe what you see and hear.
What do you learn about Martin Luther King Jr. in this clip?
What does this tell you about the context of the Ballad of Birmingham?
Listen carefully to what Martin Luther King says murdered these four girls. Would you agree that King is using this tragedy as an attempt to galvanize Black America? If so is this a good thing? Why or why not?
Watch carefully and be prepared to report your observations back to the class.
Now that we have done all this front loading (teacher talk), let’s look at the actual Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall.
Internment by Juliet S. Kono (1943 – )
What is internment?
Could it happen today? Where?
Where has it happened in the past?
Has it happened in BC?
Watch the clip above and be prepared to report your observations in your learning groups back to the class.
Vocabulary – 1. corralled 2. delousing 3.DDT 4. indignation 5. barracks 6. stark 7.stolid 8. impaled
Write each of the above words in a grammatically correct sentence to show that you understand what each word means.
The Daffodils by William Wordsworth
What is this rapping squirrel (AKA NumbaOneStunna) so excited about? Does he use any figurative language?
This is a more traditional reading. Can you identify more figurative language? Do you notice any specific literary devices?