Monday, October 19, 2009

Gravestone Haikus


We finished our reading of Hamlet today. In thinking about how I could wrap-up this very last Shakespeare performance, I decided to have us take a look back on the tragic heroes we've lost over the years. So far, our dead leads are: Hamlet, Macbeth, and Romeo.

To honor these fallen favorites, we wrote haiku poems that could serve as epitaphs on their gravestones. First, you all had the opportunity to read the last lines of all three characters. You then selected one of the three characters for which you wrote a gravestone haiku. A haiku traditionally consists of three lines. The first line includes a total of five syllables, the second line has seven, and the last line has five (5-7-5). That's the traditional version. Most of you were able to follow this pattern, but some of you decided to deviate from it slightly. I did not mind this; I jsut wanted to be able to tell whether the haiku was about Hamlet, Macbeth, or Romeo by reading it.

Here are some sample haikus:

With this kiss I feel
I am without her, so
Romeo must die.

* * *

Killed by Laertes
Hamlet will die by poison:
A sword with no name.

* * *

Before my body cries,
I throw my war-like shield--
Damn'd be you, MacDuff!

All three of these gravestone haikus are meaning-filled and the reader can easily identify which tragic hero belongs to each haiku. I will miss reading Shakespeare with you, seniors!

No comments: