In today's class, we looked at several poems relating to some of the themes we have seen in our recent class readings and viewings. We began with the following poem:
by Emily Dickinson
Much Madness is divinest Sense--
To a discerning Eye--
Much Sense--the starkest Madness--
'Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail--
Assent--and you are sane--
Demur--you're straightway dangerous--
And handled with a Chain--
divinest = most perfect
discerning = showing good judgement
starkest = most obvious
assent = say yes
demur = say no
I read the poem aloud and then gave students some time to re-read the poem on their own and answer the following questions:
1. What does this poem mean?
2. Is Dickinson right when she says, "'Tis the Majority In this, as All, prevail"?
3. What would a good title for this poem be?
4. How is the theme of this poem similar to that of “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street”?
Then, we had a line-by-line discussion of the poem to illuminate its meaning.
Next, we read “The Universe” by May Swenson. This poem is formatted in a unique way. I have attached a document of this poem below to preserve the formatting:
I read this poem aloud, gave students some time to read through it and analyze it on their own, and we then discussed it together. We began generally and then worked through it line-by-line.
Students then chose one of the two poems we read in today's class and wrote a response that was at least 2 paragraphs total in length. Consider the following questions in your response:
What is the poem’s meaning?
What do you think the author experienced that made her write the poem?
What can you take away/learn from the poem?
If you did not finish this assignment in class, please complete it as homework. In addition, finish reading I, Robot and complete your vocab list (handed out last class).
Chris Trompas - English teacher at the Learning Choice Academy in Chula Vista and La Mesa, CA.