gender_contemporary_poetry.300184446 by keralaguest

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									                                                                        Van Geons   1



Tara E. Van Geons
Secondary School Experience 5140
Dr. Robert Corbin
Conceptual Unit Plan Project
August 1, 2005

Conceptual Unit Title
Gender Study Throughout Time as Represented in Literature and Media

Lesson 4 Title
Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Poetry and Music

I.     INITIAL PLANNING

Lesson Title
Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Poetry and Music

Teacher Planning
Approximately 2-3 planning periods

Lesson Length
3 days

Texts and Lesson Materials
    Typed lyrics and CDs of the following songs:
             On and On and On and On, Erykah Badu
             Brick, Ben Folds Five
             Not Pretty Enough, Kasey Chambers
             Not a Pretty Girl, Ani Difranco
             Daughters, John Mayer
             One Week, Barenaked Ladies
             Doll Parts, Hole
    Typed/copied poems:
             “In the Depths of My Solitude,” Tupac Shakur
             “Identity,” Julio Noboa Polanco
             “Eighty Five Sticks of Butter,” Tara Varner
             “Abortion,” Iman Mirsal
             “I Saw as a Child,” Zindzi Mandela
             “Do Not Stop Me!” Angela Miri
             “Poets Among Those Who are also Poets,” Syl Cheney Coker
             “The Rain,” Robert Creeley
             “The Rival,” Sylvia Plath
             “Marriage Minded,” T.Danielle
    Copies of American Poetry Review and Several poetry journals
    Laptop computer and projector
    Overhead projector screen
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         CD Player
         Access to computer lab/library during part three
         Various art supplies

Student Materials Needed
Writing Utensils
Notebooks
Class Journals

School Context
This lesson plan can be modified for high school English Language Arts classes in rural
or urban school districts.

Student Context
This lesson plan has been designed for a 9th grade honors English I class. Modifications
may be made to standard level courses as well. Also, adjustments in the text materials
will aid the teacher(s) in creating a relevant and applicable learning tool for students.

Class Context
Students attend this 9th grade English class on a block schedule for 90 minutes, 5 days a
week. The classroom technology contains one computer for teacher purposes, an
overhead projector, and a TV/VCR combination. Additional above listed material are
required for this lesson, but can be modified if unavailability of specific resources.

Lesson Prerequisites
Students have participated in the two previous unit lesson plans (Shakespeare, Virginia
Woolf). Concepts from these lessons will extend into the Gender and Sexuality in
Contemporary Poetry and Music lesson plan. Also, students must have general
knowledge of poetic devices.

II.       LESSON INTRODUCTION

Key Concepts
Contemporary poetry, gender, sexuality, imagery, theme

Unit Learning Objectives
Students will be able to observe, discuss, and recognize how the themes of gender and
sexuality are represented in literature and media.

Rationale
This poetry and music unit makes extensive use of modern music to draw students into
the world of poetry, because many students are likely to be reluctant poetry consumers.
Contemporary poems and songs are mixed to explore how the development of gender and
sexuality influence the artists‟/poets‟ themes and imagery in their work. Students will
examine the gender/sexuality connection in poetry and lyric writing as well as a holistic
view of the “human experience.”
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The unit involves a great deal of student participation. In addition to regular group work
in class, students are asked to write poems of their own, which will be shared during an
informal “coffee-house class” during the final class of this lesson. Students will also
create a visual of a poem of their choice.

Lesson Objective (guided discovery)
Students will be able to:
        Define contemporary poetry, theme, and imagery;
        Discuss the main ideas of gender and sexuality embodied in a variety of
          poetry/lyrics;
        Gain practice activating prior knowledge identifying poetic devices (such as
          metaphor, personification, simile, etc.) because even though they may dislike
          these “mechanics” of poetry, they may need the information for future
          provincial exams;
        Write their own poem that reflects the lesson theme of gender/sexuality (ie:
          influences of gender roles, love, mother/father roles, becoming a man/woman,
          being an adolescent, Barbie, GI Joe, cartoon influences, gender/sexuality
          issues in the media, etc).
        Create a visual illustrating a poem of their choice.

Conditions and Criteria
Conditions are dependent on the initiation of students‟ prior knowledge utilizing the
Knowledge, Comprehension, and Application cognitive levels of Bloom‟s Taxonomy.
(Further study in the unit will result in the Analysis cognitive levels of Bloom‟s
Taxonomy.) Criteria of student mastery will be measured through informal assessment of
group discussions, group work, and a student written poem which reflect characteristics
of contemporary poetry as it relates to their personal experiences. Group work and
discussions will be assessed on content acquisition and an informal assessment of teacher
facilitated convergent/divergent questioning. Poetry submissions will be assessed on
quality and content as it is related to the lesson.


North Carolina Standard Course of Study Objectives Addressed

Competency Goal 1: The learner will express reflections and reactions to print and non-
print text and personal experiences.
            o Objective 1.01 Narrate personal experiences that offer an audience.
            o Objective 1.02 Respond reflectively (individually and in groups) to a
                variety of expressive texts in a way that offers an audience.
            o Objective 1.03 Demonstrate the ability to read, listen to and view a variety
                of increasingly complex print and non-print expressive texts appropriate to
                grade level and course literary focus.

Competency Goal 4: The learner will create and use standards to critique communication.
         o 4.02 Read and critique various genres.
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Competency Goal 5: The learner will demonstrate understanding of various literary
genres, concepts, elements, and terms.
           o 5.01 Read and analyze various literary works

Statement of Objective in Student Terms
Exploring lyrics of current music (within the last 10 years), students will gain
understanding to contemporary views of gender and sexuality issues. This music lesson
per se will provide a gateway to introducing contemporary poetry with the same themes
of gender and sexuality. After surveying contemporary music and poetry, students will
write their own poem to be handed in to the instructor. Students will also create a visual
representation of a poem of their choice. Students may voluntarily present their poem to
the class.

III.       LESSON DEVELOPMENT

Guided Discovery

The teacher will engage in a guided discovery lesson to introduce themes in
contemporary poetry/music to the class. The teacher will:

          Identify and prioritize what needs to be learned.
          Distinguish between facts, procedures, and concepts.
          Organize concepts hierarchically.
          Divide what is to be learned into appropriate increments.
          Create or adapt activities that stimulate the development of the desired concept.
          Ask questions that encourage students to reflect on and verbalize their thought
           process.
          Provide subtasks where needed.
          Regularly evaluate the students‟ understanding.
          Provide wrap-up to ensure that all students have learned the desired concepts.

Differentiation of Instruction: General Accommodations for IEP, 504, and ESL
Students

All IEP, 504, and ESL students will be assigned a learning “partner” prior to class.

The teacher will accommodate these students by:

        Helping the student organize a notebook or folder for your class.
        Writing daily agenda on the board.
        Catching the student being good and/or doing the right thing, giving immediate
         praise or rewards.
        Contacting parent/guardian and discuss the homework assignment with them.
        Allowing a peer or an adult to read text aloud to the student.
        Use bilingual dictionary.
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       Use highlighters to identify literary devices in the poem.

Multiple Intelligences Addressed
The following Multiple Intelligences are addressed in the unit lesson: Linguistic,
Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal.

Sensory Modalities for Learning Addressed
The following sensory modalities are addressed throughout this lesson: visual, auditory,
and kinesthetic.

IV.       LESSON IMPLEMENTATION

Part One
             1. As students enter the room, they will randomly be assigned to seven
                groups of 3 or 4 students.

             2. On the board or overhead, a writing prompt will be displayed for students
                to respond to as a free writing activity to activate prior knowledge of
                previous lessons:
                     How would you define gender? How would you define sexuality?
                        Do you believe gender and sexuality are significant components to
                        the formation and maintenance of culture? If so, how and/or why?
                        (10 minutes)

             3. Have students share their responses with teacher facilitating discussion.
                (10 minutes)

             4. Activate prior knowledge by asking the class convergent questions to
                collectively identify the following terms: imagery, theme, poetry (10
                minutes)

             5. Using the overhead, laptop, or board, display the following definition:
                    The word “contemporary” is used to refer to what is popular in the
                       present period. We will use this word to describe work within the
                       last 10 years.

             6. Continue to activate prior knowledge with the following divergent
                questions:
                    How would you define poetry?
                    Is music poetry?
                    Can music and poetry have a political or social meaning? How?
                       Why? (10 minutes)
                    Provide the following definition and ask for student responses:

                        a. Definition: Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience
                           expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language
                                                                          Van Geons    6



                     choices so as to evoke an emotional response. Poetry has been
                     known to employ meter and rhyme, but this is by no means
                     necessary. Poetry is an ancient form that has gone through
                     numerous and drastic reinvention over time. The very nature of
                     poetry as an authentic and individual mode of expression
                     makes it nearly impossible to define.
                  b. Tell students that our class will look at and listen to
                     contemporary music and discuss in groups the elements of
                     gender and sexuality as related to lyrics. (25 minutes) Students
                     will work in their group to answer the group discussion
                     questions.

                  On and On and On and On, Erykah Badu
                  Brick, Ben Folds Five
                  Not Pretty Enough, Kasey Chambers
                  Not a Pretty Girl, Ani Difranco
                  Daughters, John Mayer
                  One Week, Barenaked Ladies
                  Doll Parts, Hole

           7. Students will then present their “song” to the class and share their group
               discussion questions. Teacher will circulate among the groups to
               check for understanding. (30 minutes)

           8. Wrap up and reflection: Discuss briefly with students plans for part
              two of the lesson.
Part Two

     1.    As students enter the room, they will be assigned in 10 group of 2 or 3
           students. Students will be allowed to self select their groups.

     2.    Activate prior knowledge by having a writing prompt on the board
           regarding the lesson in part one:
                      -       Now that we have looked at gender and sexuality in
                              music and song lyrics, today we are going to look at
                              these issues in contemporary poetry. Please reflect on
                              the following: In regards to yesterday‟s topic, what
                              have you learned about gender and sexuality in song
                              lyrics? Did you like the activity? After class, did you
                              think of any other songs that deal with these issues? (10
                              minutes)

     3.    Have students share their responses with teacher facilitating discussion.
           (10 minutes)
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      4.      Activate prior knowledge by asking the class convergent questions to
              collectively identify the following terms: imagery, theme, poetry (5
              minutes)

      5.      Hand out group projects. Each group will be given a poem. Students will
              be required to analyze the poems using the following: examples of
              imagery, theme, interpretation, literary/poetic devices. Students must also
              identify the themes of gender and sexuality and how the poet uses these
              themes. The groups will then be responsible for “presenting” their poem to
              the class. This presentation will be left to the groups to decide how they
              will present the poem to the class. ( 30 minutes)

               “In the Depths of My Solitude,” Tupac Shakur
              “Identity,” Julio Noboa Polanco
              “Eighty Five Sticks of Butter,” Tara Varner
              “Abortion,” Iman Mirsal
              “I Saw as a Child,” Zindzi Mandela
              “Do Not Stop Me!” Angela Miri
              “Poets Among Those Who are also Poets,” Syl Cheney Coker
              “The Rain,” Robert Creeley
              “The Rival,” Sylvia Plath
              “Marriage Minded,” T.Danielle

           6. Students will then present their poems to the class. (30 minutes).

           7. Wrap up and Reflection: Students will be given a homework assignment
              to write their own poem that reflects the lesson theme of gender/sexuality
              (ie: influences of gender roles, love, mother/father roles, becoming a
              man/woman, being an adolescent, Barbie, GI Joe, cartoon influences,
              gender/sexuality issues in the media, etc). This assignment will be due
              during part three of this lesson.

Part Three


           1. Students will informally present their poems (if they so wish). Since many
              of the poems will be of a personal nature, the teacher should not insist on a
              group share.

           2. Students will wrap up and reflect on Part One and Part Two with the
              teacher facilitating the discussion. (20 minutes)

           3. Students will then have an opportunity to read provided poetry books,
              journals, literary magazines and/or research in the library or the computer
              lab a contemporary poet of their choice. This is an opportunity for students
              to choice their research topic and explore poets/artists that they are
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               interested in. Students will make a copy of the poem/artist they have
               chosen. Students must chose a poem that is related to the theme of gender
               and sexuality. Students may have the option to write another poem
               instead.

           4. Student will create a visual that represents the poem they have chosen and
              display their „visual‟ in the classroom. (due by end of class).


V.     LESSON EVALUATION and ASSESSMENT

Students will be informally evaluated by teacher circulating throughout groups. Also,
prior knowledge will be assessed through class discussion. Homework and in class
questions will be assessed as a Discussion Question Rubric (attached). Poetry and Visual
work will assessed based on quality, content, and artistic attempts/efforts. Poetry and
visual rubrics attached.

A successful class will reflect student learning, understanding, participation, and
cooperation in this guided discovery activity. This lesson is intended to be part three of a
conceptual four part thematic unit.
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On and On and On and On                             names
Erykah Badu                                         Most intellects do not believe in God but they
                                                                          fear us just the same
Oh my,my,my I'm feelin' high
My money's gone I'm all alone
Too much to see, the world keeps turnin'
Oh what a day, what a day, what a day
                                                                           Erykah Badu was born
Peace and blessins' manifest with every lesson                             Erica Wright in Dallas,
learned- If your knowledge were your wealth                                Texas, in 1972. Her mother
then it would be well earned                        raised her single handily along with Erykah's
If we were made in his image then call us by our    brother and sister, since their father had left the
names Most intellects do not believe in God         family home early on in their lives.
But they fear us just the same
                                                    In order to provide for her family, the children's
Oh On & On & on &on My cipher keeps movin'
                                                    grandmother often helped in looking after them
like a rollin' stone woo on & on & on & on
                                                    while Erykah's mother, Kollen Wright,
All night till the break of dawn I go on & on &
                                                    performed as an actress in various theatrical
on & on My cipher keeps movin' like a rollin'       productions. Having been influenced
stone Ooh on & on & on & on- dammit I'm a           significantly by her mother, Erica Wright (or
sing my song
                                                    Erykah Badu as she would later become known
                                                    to her legions of fans) had her first taste of
I was born under water with three dollars and six
                                                    showbiz at the tender age of 4, singing and
dimes- Yeah, you may laugh cause you did not        dancing with her mother at the Dallas Theatre
do your math-Like one, two, three                   Centre. In her early youth, she decided to
Damn, y'all feel that-Like one, two, three
                                                    change the spelling of her name from Erica to
Thw world keeps turnin'-Oh what a day, what a
                                                    Erykah, as she firmly believed her original name
day, what a day
                                                    to be her 'slave' name. The term 'kah' signifies
                                                    the inner self, which, when translated from
The man that knows somethin' knows that he          Muslim, means 'can do no wrong'. Her surname,
knows nothin' at all- Does it seem colder in your   Badu, derives from an Arabic word which means
summer time and hotter in your fall
                                                    'to manifest truth and light'.
If we were made in his image then call us by our
names.
Most intellects do not believe in God but they
fear us just the same                               Group Discussion Questions:
(chorus)
I'm feelin' kind of hungry cause my high is         1.       What evidence of gender/sexuality
comin' down                                                  issues are found in On and On and On?
Don't feed me yours cause food does not indure
I think I need a cup of tea The world keeps         2.       How do you think her background has
burnin'                                                      influenced her writing?
Oh what a day, what a day, what a day
                                                    3.       What religious issues are found in her
You rush into destruction cause you don't have               song and her biography (find specific
nothin' left                                                 evidence for both)?
The mothership can't save you so your ___is
gone get left
If we were made in his image then call us by our
                                                                                         Van Geons       10



                                        Not a Pretty Girl" by Ani DiFranco challenges the
                                        construction of femininity, and makes a case for embracing
                                        a feminist identity. This song could enhance discussion
                                        regarding myths about the ways women are socialized to
                                        exist in relation only to men (Pollitt). Ani Difranco
                                        compares and contrasts against pop songs that involve the
                                        need to be rescued, or glorify constructions of femininity as
                                        power.



"Not a Pretty Girl", Ani Difranco                      and what if there are no damsels in distress
                                                       what if i knew that and i called your bluff?
i am not a pretty girl                                 don't you think every kitten figures out how to
that is not what I do                                  get down
i ain't no damsel in distress                          whether or not you ever show up
and i don't need to be rescued                         i am not a pretty girl
so put me down, punk                                   i don't want to be a pretty girl
maybe you'd prefer a maiden fair                       no i want to be more than a pretty girl
isn't there a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere
i am not an angry girl
but it seems like i've got everyone fooled
every time i say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear
and imagine you're a girl                              Group Discussion questions:
just trying to finally come clean
knowing full well they'd prefer you                    1. What does DiFranco mean by "pretty
were dirty and smiling                                 girl"?
and i am sorry
i am not a maiden fair
and i am not a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere        2. Feminist is defined as a believer in the
and generally my generation                            advocacy of women‟s rights while
wouldn't be caught dead working for the man            providing a critique of social relations.
and generally i agree with them                        There may also be a focus on analyzing
trouble is you gotta have yourself an alternate
plan
                                                       gender inequality and the promotion of
and i have earned my disillusionment                   women's rights, interests, and issues. Is
i have been working all of my life                     DiFranco a feminist? What evidence can
and i am a patriot                                     you find to support your answer?
i have been fighting the good fight
                                                                                            Van Geons       11




                                  In 2000, Kasey Chambers emerged as Australia's first successful
                                  country-to-rock crossover female singer. In 1976, hoping to earn a living
                                  hunting foxes, Bill and Diane Chambers took their two-year-old son Nash
                                  and newborn daughter Kasey into the 100,000 square mile (260,000
                                  square km) sparsely vegetated and generally flat plateau called the
                                  Nullarbor Plain. The family would spend seven or eight months of the
                                  year on the Nullarbor, resupplying themselves from the world's longest
                                  stretch of straight railroad track, 330 miles (530 km), running through the
                                  Nullarbor. The rest of the year, the hot months, the family spent at a
                                  small South Australian fishing village. Each night out on the Nullarbor,
                                  after a day's hunting, the family would camp in a different spot on that
                                  vast Australian landmark and, grabbing his guitar, Bill Chambers and his
                                  wife Diane passed on their love of country music, by the glow of the
                                  campfire, under the stars. This is how Kasey Chambers spent the first
                                  nine years


Not Pretty Enough
                                                         I take it like a man
Am I not pretty enough                                   I try as hard as I can
Is my heart too broken
Do I cry too much                                        chorus
Am I too outspoken
Don't I make you laugh                                   why do you see
Should I try it harder                                   why do you see
Why do you see right through me                          why do you see
                                                         why do you see right through me
I live
I breathe
I let it rain on me
I sleep
I wake
I try hard not to break                                  Group Discussion Questions
I crave
I love
                                                         1.       What is a your definition of a pretty
I've waited long enough
                                                                  woman? What is your definition of
I try as hard as I can
                                                                  beautiful? What is your definition of
                                                                  glamorous? Why does Kasey Chambers
chorus
                                                                  use the word choice of “pretty” instead
                                                                  of beautiful or glamorous?
I laugh
I feel
I make believe it's real                                 2.       Where do we see examples of pretty
I fall                                                            and beautiful in relation to the media?
I freeze                                                          Who decides what is pretty?
I pray down on my knees
I hope                                                   3.       What is the male counterpart to a
I stand,                                                          “pretty” woman?
                                                                             Van Geons      12



                                                Fathers be good to your daughters
                                                Daughters will love like you do
                                                Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
                                                So mothers be good to your daughters too

                                                Boys, you can break
                                                You'll find out how much they can take
                                                Boys will be strong
                                                And boys soldier on
                                                But boys would be gone without warmth
                                                from
                                                A woman's good, good heart

                                                On behalf of every man
                                                Looking out for every girl
Daughters by John Mayer                         You are the god and the weight of her world

I know a girl                                   So fathers be good to your daughters
She puts the color inside of my world           Daughters will love like you do
She's just like a maze                          Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
Where all of the walls all continually change   So mothers be good to your daughters, too
And I've done all I can                         So mothers be good to your daughters, too
To stand on her steps with my heart in my       So mothers be good to your daughters, too
hands
Now I'm starting to see
Maybe it's got nothing to do with me            Group Discussion Questions

Fathers be good to your daughters               1.     How do our relationships with our
Daughters will love like you do                        parental figures shape our gender
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers              and sexuality?
So mothers be good to your daughters too
                                                2.     Describe your group perception of
Oh, you see that skin?                                 the metaphor of “she‟s like a
It's the same she's been standing in                   maze.” How can a person be like a
Since the day she saw him walking away                 maze?
Now she's left
Cleaning up the mess he made                    3.     What does it mean for mothers to be
                                                       "good" to their daughters?
                                                                                      Van Geons      13




Love her or loathe her, the opinionated, brutally   I want to be the girl with the most cake
straightforward, and seemingly always               He only loves those things because he loves to
controversial Courtney Love is one of the most      see them break
notable figures in alternative rock. Born on July   I fake it so real, i am beyond fake
9, 1964 in San Francisco, CA, Love was raised       And someday, you will ache like i ache
in Oregon. As a teen, Love began listening to       Someday you will ache like i ache
new wave and punk, musical styles that would
influence her band Hole. After traveling to         Group Discussion Questions
countries like Ireland, Japan, and England, Love
moved to Los Angeles, CA.
                                                    1. How does Love compare her body and
                                                    sexuality to that of a doll? Why does she do this?
In 1991, Love married Nirvana front man Kurt
Cobain. Rumors of drug use between the two
began surfacing in the press, and a Vanity Press    2. Who is Love talking to? Who is her audience?
article revealed that Love was using heroin while
she was pregnant with their daughter, Frances       3. Discuss the metaphoric implication of “I want
Bean Cobain. In April 1994, Kurt Cobain             to be the girl with the most cake.”
committed suicide; two months later, new Hole
bassist Kristen M. Pfaff died from a heroin
overdose. Although it was recorded before those
personal tragedies, Hole's second album, the
ironically titled Live Through This, captured the
searing pain and violent anger of somebody
undergoing a tragic loss.

 Doll Parts written by Courtney Love performed
by Hole

I am doll eyes
Doll mouth, doll legs
I am doll arms, big veins, dog bait
Yeah, they really want you, they really want you,
they really do
Yeah, they really want you, they really want you,
but i do too
I want to be the girl with the most cake
I love him so much it just turns to hate
I fake it so real, i am beyond fake
And someday, you will ache like i ache
Someday, you will ache like i ache

I am doll parts
Bad skin, doll heart
It stands for knife
For the rest of my life
Yeah, they really want you, they really want you,
they really do
Yeah, they really want you, they really want you,
but i do, too
                                                                                     Van Geons     14



Current Statistics                                  They told me son it‟s time
                                                    To tell the truth
       In 2000, approximately 840,000 U.S.         And she broke down and I broke
        teenagers became pregnant                   Down
       About 34 percent of American women          ‟cause I was tired of lying
        become pregnant before the age of 20        Driving back to her apartment
       Approximately 74 to 95 percent of teenage   For the moment we‟re alone
        pregnancies are unintended. They account    She‟s alone
        for one-quarter of all accidental           And I‟m alone
       Among teenage pregnancies in 2000, 56       Now I know it
        percent resulted in birth, 28 percent in
        abortion, and 15 percent in miscarriage     Chorus
        (Ventura et al., 2004).

   Brick by Ben Folds Five

   6 am day after Christmas                         Group Discussion Questions
   I throw some clothes on in
   The dark                                         1.       Issues of sexuality including abortion
   The smell of cold                                         are discussed typically in relation to
   Car seat is freezing                                      how it affects just women. This song
   The world is sleeping and                                 discusses how abortion affects the men
   I am numb                                                 involved. How does the abortion affect
   Up the stairs to her apartment                            the writer? What are his feelings toward
   She is balled up on the couch                             his girlfriend and his unborn child?
   Her mom and dad went down
   To charlotte                                     2.       How is abortion a gender and sexuality
   They‟re not home to find us                               issue for both men and women?
   Out
   And we drive
   Now that I have founds someone
   I‟m feeling more alone
   Than I ever have before

   Chorus
   She‟s a brick and I‟m drowning
   Slowly
   Off the coast and I‟m headed
   Nowhere
   She‟s a brick and I‟m drowning
   Slowly

   They call her name at 7:30
   I pace around the parking lot
   Then I walk down to buy her
   Flowers
   And sell some gifts that I got
   Can‟t you see
   It‟s not me you‟re dying for
   Now she‟s feeling more alone
   Than she ever has before

   Chorus

   As weeks went by
   It showed that she was not fine
                                                                                           Van Geons    15



"One Week" by Barenaked Ladies                        tickin'
                                                      Watchin' X-Files with no lights on
It's been one week since you looked at me             We're dans la maison
Cocked your head to the side and said "I'm            I hope the Smoking Man's in this one
angry"                                                Like Harrison Ford I'm getting frantic
Five days since you laughed at me saying              Like Sting I'm tantric
"Get that together come back and see me"              Like Snickers, guaranteed to satisfy
Three days since the living room
I realized it's all my fault, but couldn't tell you   Like Kurasawa I make mad films
Yesterday you'd forgiven me                           Okay, I don't make films
but it'll still be two days till I say I'm sorry      But if I did they'd have a Samurai
                                                      Gonna get a set a' better clubs
Hold it now and watch the hoodwink                    Gonna find the kind with tiny nubs
As I make you stop, think                             Just so my irons aren't always flying off the
You'll think you're looking at Aquaman                back-swing
I summon fish to the dish, although I like the        Gotta get in tune with Sailor Moon
Chalet Swiss                                          'Cause the cartoon has got the boom anime babes
I like the sushi                                      That make me think the wrong thing
'cause it's never touched a frying pan
Hot like wasabe when I bust rhymes                    How can I help it if I think you're funny when
Big like LeAnn Rimes                                  you're mad
Because I'm all about value                           Tryin' hard not to smile though I feel bad
Bert Kaempfert's got the mad hits                     I'm the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral
You try to match wits, you try to hold me but I       Can't understand what I mean?
bust through                                          Well, you soon will
Gonna make a break and take a fake                    I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve
I'd like a stinkin achin shake                        I have a history of losing my shirt
I like vanilla, it's the finest of the flavours
Gotta see the show, cause then you'll know            It's been one week since you looked at me
The vertigo is gonna grow                             Dropped your arms to your sides
Cause it's so dangerous,                              and said "I'm sorry"
you'll have to sign a waiver                          Five days since I laughed at you and said
                                                      "You just did just what I thought you were gonna
How can I help it if I think you're funny when        do"
you're mad                                            Three days since the living room
Trying hard not to smile though I feel bad            We realized we're both to blame,
I'm the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral           but what could we do?
Can't understand what I mean?                         Yesterday you just smiled at me
Well, you soon will                                   Cause it'll still be two days till we say we're
I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve        sorry
I have a history of taking off my shirt
                                                      It'll still be two days till we say we're sorry
It's been one week since you looked at me             It'll still be two days till we say we're sorry
Threw your arms in the air                            Birchmount Stadium, home of the Robbie
and said "You're crazy"
Five days since you tackled me                        Group Discussion Questions
I've still got the rug burns on both my knees
It's been three days since the afternoon
                                                      1.       How does this song demonstrate gender
You realized it's not my fault
                                                               differences? How does the woman react
not a moment too soon
                                                               to the man? How does the man react to
Yesterday you'd forgiven me
                                                               the woman?
And now I sit back and wait til you say you're
                                                      2.       What happened in “the living room?”
sorry
                                                      3.       What poetic devices are used in this
                                                               song?
Chickity China the Chinese chicken
You have a drumstick and your brain stops
                                                                                   Van Geons    16
                          Examples of Contemporary World Poetry


Identity
 Julio Noboa Polanco (Columbia)                  In The Depths of Solitude
                                                 By Tupac Shakur (United States)
Let them be as flowers
always watered, fed, guarded, admired,           i exist in the depths of solitude
but harnessed to a pot of dirt.                  pondering my true goal
                                                 trying 2 find peace of mind
I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed,                 and still preserve my soul
clinging on cliffs, like an eagle                constantly yearning 2 be accepted
                                                 and from all receive respect
wind-wavering above high, jagged rocks.
                                                 never comprising but sometimes risky
                                                 and that is my only regret
To have broken through the surface
of stone,
to live, to feel exposed to the madness
                                                 a young heart with an old soul
of the vast, eternal sky.
                                                 how can there be peace
To be swayed by the breezes of an
                                                 how can i be in the depths of solitude
ancient sea,
                                                 when there r 2 inside of me
carrying my soul, my seed, beyond
the mountains of time                            this duo within me causes
or into the abyss of the bizarre.                the perfect oppurtunity
                                                 2 learn and live twice as fast
                                                 as those who accept simplicity
I'd rather be unseen, and if
                                                 “The Rival,” Sylvia Plath
then shunned by everyone,
than to be a pleasant-smelling flower,
                                                 If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.
growing in clusters in the fertile valley,
                                                 You leave the same impression
where they're praised, handled, and
plucked                                          Of something beautiful, but annihilating.
by greedy human hands.                           Both of you are great light borrowers.
                                                 Her O-mouth grieves at the world; yours is
                                                 unaffected,
I'd rather smell of musty, green stench
than of sweet, fragrant lilac.                   And your first gift is making stone out of
If I could stand alone, strong and free,         everything.
I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed.                 I wake to a mausoleum; you are here,
                                                 Ticking your fingers on the marble table, looking
Marriage Minded:                                 for cigarettes,
T. Danielle (United States)                      Spiteful as a woman, but not so nervous,
                                                 And dying to say something unanswerable.
In Light I see
The "You" in me                                  The moon, too, abuses her subjects,
How we are so alike                              But in the daytime she is ridiculous.
Is plain to see                                  Your dissatisfactions, on the other hand,
But why can't they agree?                        Arrive through the mailslot with loving
We were meant to be                              regularity,
In life                                          White and blank, expansive as carbon monoxide.
In love
In Unity                                         No day is safe from news of you,
One Day we shall marry                           Walking about in Africa maybe, but thinking of
and enjoy the essence of Equality                me.

                                                 (Sylvia Plath’s poetry is considered
                                                 contemporary in the poetry arena, however, she
                                                 passed away in 1963)
                                                                                        Van Geons      17



The Rain by Robert Creeley                           Scrubbing with bleaching cream and lemon oil to
                                                     fade the brown spots
All night the sound had                              “connect the dots, la la la la la.”
come back again,
and again falls                                      Coco butter wrapped in saran to weaken the
this quiet, persistent rain.                         results of a growth spurt, which never actually
                                                     came to fruition.
                                                     The sacrament of straightening, tightening,
What am I to myself
                                                     sucking it all in
that must be remembered
                                                     no longer a ritual, but a religion.
insisted upon
so often? Is it
                                                     Two hundred and five pounds- only eighty five
                                                     sticks of butter to melt
that never the ease,
even the hardness,                                   Joined Gold‟s, own the Firm, and Body by Jake.
of rain falling                                      Bought the magazines (and the tee shirt as they
will have for me                                     say).
                                                     Airbrushed thighs and bellies of hairless
something other than this,                           prepubescents smile mechanically
something not so insistent--                         As I realize I have their total body weight to lose.
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.

Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.                                      “Abortion,” Iman Mirsal
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out                                      Since that day
                                                     irrespective of the empty package
of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-         and the carefully stuffed plastic bags
lust of intentional indifference.                    and the number of garbage men out to clean up
Be wet                                               Cairo
with a decent happiness.                             I say to myself
                                                     No doubt inside these caravans brimming with
                                                     household leavings
Eighty Five Sticks of Butter                         there are
T. Varner                                            still
                                                     in the cotton which is no longer white
He ran four miles on the treadmill next to me.       lots of fetuses
His name was Brandon.                                with eyes wider than horror
He works the night shift.                            unable to point out the wombs which miscarried
My lover claims he wants to sleep with me, „ he      them
sees your beautiful hair, your porcelain skin,
your voluptuous hips.‟

Playing the role of a self actualized woman
comfortable in her skin is work when your skin
doesn‟t even feel like your own.
For years, I thought that every pair of sunglasses
I bought were broken-
asymmetrical ears.

The looking glass reflects only flaming, knotted,
frizzy orange.
Blue veins, gargantuan thighs with craters one
could see from the moon.
                                                                                      Van Geons      18




Poets Among Those Who are also Poets                 “Do Not Stop Me!” Angela Miri
Syl Cheney Coker
                                                     Do not stop me!
I drive round the dirty streets of Freetown          I burn
And observe a man standing at the corner of the      Like the wild harmattan fire,
library                                              Burning uncontrollably
Stabbing his heart with a knife                      And destroying everything in its path
Another spits into the fountain his cola nut         To clear the sloth for a carnival!
checked hunger                                       No amount of water or jet of liquid chemicals
Another is crouching half dying under a giant        Can quench this thirst
cotton tree                                          In me for self expression.
Shrieking another with a stream of saliva
showering his face                                   Full to the brim,
Hangs on the gold plated gates of the presidential   I overflow
palace                                               And someone there unimpressed
And further down a beggar goes by shouting he        And beguiled of words
has been robbed                                      Potent enough to smash his spine.
All in one hour all in one hour
                                                     I regale in divine endowments
One woman is screaming raped by a bureaucrat         To fire on, exploring unitl doomsday.
A childless harlot is beaten by another with kids    Do not stop me now,
At the cemetery three women examine their lost       There is no room
treasures in                                         To contain me,
          Bones                                      I have let loose in the firmament.
Three sons like father son and holy ghost            Yet I must give control
Down at the shanty they have turned off the          And save what is left of my being
water                                                Lest I empty all and lose all!
Because the women have ruined the toilets            But do not stop me!
And finally a woman has come confessed to
selling their daughters
                                                     “I Saw as a Child,” Zindzi Mandela
One child whips the other because she call him a
dirty name                                           I saw as a child
Another driven to school in a limousine              A small white boy
unmarked                                             Sitting in a car
While the classmates walk on all ten                 And I never knew why
At the hospital the wards are in commotion           When my home was so far
because two children                                 And his so near
Have been bitten by dogs over at the garbage         I had to walk
dump
Such is the life seen driving round Freetown         I saw as a child
                                                     A tall building
                                                     Beautiful and empty
                                                     And I never knew why
                                                     When my home was so small
                                                     And this so big
                                                     We were overcrowded

                                                     I saw as a child
                                                     A tarred road
                                                     Clean and lonely
                                                     And I never knew why
                                                     When our street was so busy
                                                     And this so alone
                                                     I was uncared for

								
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