Friday, December 18, 2009

Poetry Friday: Gwendolyn Brooks's Poem and Your Response


Many of you have an innate sense and feel for language. Some of you can write poetry without much direction. Even if you are born with this sort of aptitude for poetics, it is always helpful to broaden your understanding of the poetry genre by reading published authors. Even more helpful is to try and use some of their style and structure in your own writing to see how it feels. You are always welcome to bring in your own original poetry in addition to the assignments I give in class.

Today, you're going to try out the style and language of a master poetess named Gwendolyn Brooks. I chose her poem "We Real Cool" because it reminded me of the stoop scene in Monster where Steve tries to look cool in front of the neighborhood criminals. He shows us this scene once he's in jail, and maybe he's trying to tell us that he regrets getting involved with these people. Maybe not.

Either way, you're going to read Brooks's poem and write a similar poem that relates to Steve's situation. I'd like you to copy her exact structure, but change the words so that they are connected to the events and characters of Monster. Once you're done, you may post your poem in your blog. I'll link to some of them here after class.

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Student Poem from Steve's Perspective
Student Poem about Steve
Another Poem from Steve's Perspective

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