Monday, March 15, 2010

Poems to Our Parents

In William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, the battle of the sexes rages not only between lovers, but also between Baptista and his daughters Katherine and Bianca. We've focused quite a bit on gender stereotypes and what we like/ dislike about being a boy or a girl, but we haven't talked a whole lot about our parents and where our understanding of gender comes from.

In today's class, we read a poem from I Am An Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler. The poem is titled "What I Wish I Could Say To My Mother" and there seem to be a variety of voices represented in this poem. This poem spurred on our poetic exercise in today's class, which was for you all to write collective poems to your parents in your gender groups. You all took some quiet time to write four or five lines to your mothers and/or fathers. Then, you got together in your groups and chose a leader to help organize your lines into a cohesive poem.

Both poems are extraordinary. The boys' poem is super powerful, but contains some well-placed profanity (which was acceptable given that I asked for honesty) so I am not going to post it here. We will share this poem aloud, though, in class on Wednesday.

The girls' poem is less profane but just as powerful. The girls worked hard to organize their lines into stanzas that made sense. They also worked hard to thread one another's voices throughout the entire poem. Here is a screenshot of their final product:

Representatives of each group will read their poems aloud in class on Wednesday. Good work, everyone. You demonstrated an ability to work as a group in a respectful, creative, and efficient manner. We'll be doing more activities like this as we continue our study of this play.

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