Poetry about resilience

31 Jan

I have blogged on many previous occasions about using poetry to explore representations and constructions of gender (here and here, for example).  I have also previously blogged about using poetry as a means of introducing students to a diversity of Australian voices including those of refugees.  It dawned on me that there is often a thematic overlap between poetry that explores gender and poetry that explores the experiences of migrants and refugees.  What is this thematic overlap?  An emphasis on resilience, of course.

To illustrate this to my students, I am keen to have them compare Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I Rise‘, Hani Abdile’s ‘I Will Rise‘ and one of the stories featured in Girl Rising.  I think I would begin by providing students with the titles of these texts only.  Using these titles, they will examine the subtle differences in language, hypothesising about the impact of these differences on meaning.  They will also discuss the connotations of the word ‘rise’.  Then, we would go through the texts one by one, starting with the oldest and working forward in time.  In each text, we would explore how resilience and gender are intertwined and represented.   After exploring these three texts, students would be given an opportunity to write their own ‘rise’ poem.


One Response to “Poetry about resilience”


  1. “Poetry is a call to action and it also is action” | Once uPUN a time... - March 7, 2016

    […] about the power of poetry to communicate issues of social and personal significance (here, here, and here).  I have now found the perfect poem to introduce this concept to junior students.  The […]


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