Tag Archives: war poetry

The sounds, sights and emotions of war

18 May

I am on a mission to help my junior students to engage with key poetic techniques and truly understand the effect of such techniques.  With this goal in mind, I recently ran an activity in which students were given a selection of neutrally worded scenarios pertaining to war and had to work in groups to come up with a list of similes, metaphors, examples of personification and onomatopoeic statements which enlivened the scenarios.

After reviewing the definitions of these techniques and identifying two examples of each as a class, students worked together to create their own lists.  I was pleasantly surprised!  Students made reference to a wall which reached out to support the weight of a grieving widow, fighter jets that howled like wolves deprived of meat, and mud which sought to suck the life from the soles of soldiers’ shoes.  As these examples were shared with the class we discussed why each was effective.

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FRIDAY FICTIONEERS: ‘Now’

24 Apr

It is Friday Fictioneers time!  Each week, bloggers are challenged to produce 100 word stories in response to a photo prompt.

For my return to Friday Fictioneers, I am trying something a little different – a poem, rather than a short story.

Before,

we lived

together.

 

Before,

tick tock

was a clock,

time passing.

 

Before,

flight

was a kite,

a childish game.

 

Before,

barbed wire was for fences

uniting the rails,

providing security,

safety.

 

Now,

barbed wire is for people,

flight is a drone,

tick tock is a bomb.

 

Now,

I rail against injustice

I plead for security.

 

Now,

I speak so that others know –

This is not a game.

Mine is not a childish tantrum.

 

Now,

our people are passing

through cities,

stripped

of belongings

of dignity,

seeking a safer future.

 

Now,

our people are passing

away.

 

Now,

we die

apart.

 

Pairs of texts

31 Mar

I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about interesting textual pairings for study as part of a comparative unit.  Many of my ideas are not suitable for my school context or the ability levels of my classes.  However, I do think that, in the right contexts and with the right classes, all could form the basis of interesting and engaging units.

  1. A Lesson Before Dying (novel) & To Kill a Mockingbird (film)
  2. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Freedom Writers (film)
  3. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Girl At War (novel)
  4. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Hotel Rwanda (film)
  5. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Schindler’s List (film)
  6. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Poetry of Siegfried Sassoon (poetry)
  7. A Long Way Gone (memoir) & Poetry of Wilfred Owen (poetry)
  8. Americanah (novel) & selected episodes of Black-ish (television series)
  9. A Monster Calls (novel) & Boy (film)
  10. A Monster Calls (novel) & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (film)
  11. A Monster Calls (novel/film) & Frankenstein (novel)
  12. And Then There Were None (novel) & Selected episodes of Trapped (television series)
  13. Animal Farm (novel) & Selection of episodes of House of Cards (television series)
  14. Anzac Girls (television series) & Poetry of Siegfried Sassoon (poetry)
  15. Bad Feminist (collection of essays) & For Colored Girls (film)
  16. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  17. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & The Dreamer (novel)
  18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & The Kite Runner (film or graphic novel)
  19. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel) & Wadjda (film)
  20. Becoming Kirrali Lewis (novel) & Boy (film)
  21. Becoming Kirrali Lewis (novel) & The Kite Runner (graphic novel)
  22. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Americanah (novel)
  23. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Selected short stories of Chinua Achebe (short stories)
  24. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Desdemona (play)
  25. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & God Help the Child (novel)
  26. Boy, Snow, Bird (novel) & Kissing the Witch (novel)
  27. Brave New World (novel) & The Crucible (play)
  28. Brave New World (novel) & Never Let Me Go (film)
  29. Brave New World (novel) & V for Vendetta (film)
  30. Briar Rose (novel) & Grave of the Fireflies (film)
  31. Briar Rose (novel) & Lion (film)
  32. Briar Rose (novel) & Night (autobiography)
  33. Briar Rose (novel) & Schindler’s List (film)
  34. Deadline (novel) & Dead Poets Society (film)
  35. Deadline (novel) & The Fault In Our Stars (film)
  36. Deadline (novel) & The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (film)
  37. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & A United Kingdom (film)
  38. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Hairspray (film)
  39. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Invictus (film)
  40. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Remember the Titans (films)
  41. Deadly, Unna? (novel) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series)
  42. El Deafo (graphic novel) & The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (novel)
  43. Etiquette and Espionage (novel) & Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (film)
  44. Exit West (novel) & Romeo and Juliet (play)
  45. Exit West (novel) & The poetry of Selina Nwulu (poetry)
  46. Exit West (novel) & The poetry of Warsan Shire (poetry)
  47. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (novel) & After the Storm (film)
  48. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (novel) & 11’09’01 (collection of short films)
  49. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (novel) & Lion (film)
  50. Face (novel) & The Intouchables (film)
  51. Fahrenheit 451 (novel) & Persepolis (graphic novel or film)
  52. Fahrenheit 451 (novel) & V For Vendetta (film)
  53. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf (choreopoem) & Mustang (film)
  54. Frankenstein (novel) & Boy, Snow, Bird (novel)
  55. Frankenstein (novel) & Frankenweenie (film)
  56. Frankenstein (novel) & The Iron Giant (film)
  57. Frankenstein (novel) & Metropolis (film)
  58. Frankenstein (novel) & Never Let Me Go (film)
  59. Frankenstein (novel) & The Rocky Horror Picture Show (film)
  60. Frankenstein (novel) & The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (novel)
  61. Girl Rising (film) & Poetry of Maya Angelou (poetry)
  62. Hamlet (play) & A Monster Calls (novel/film)
  63. Hamlet (play) & Nutshell (novel)
  64. Hamlet (play) & The Lion King (film)
  65. Hiroshima (novel) & Grave of the Fireflies (film)
  66. King Henry IV, Part I (play) & Selected episodes of House of Cards (television show)
  67. King Henry IV, Part I (play) & Selected episodes of Scandal (television show)
  68. King Richard II (play) & Selected episodes of House of Cards (television show)
  69. Life of Pi (novel) & Castaway (film)
  70. Lord of the Flies (novel) & Where the Wild Things Are (film)
  71. Lord of the Flies (novel) & The Hunger Games (film)
  72. Macbeth (play) & Selected episodes of Designated Survivor (television series)
  73. Macbeth (play) & The Dressmaker (film)
  74. Macbeth (play) & The Gods of Wheat Street (television series)
  75. Macbeth (play) & The Kite Runner (graphic novel, novel or film)
  76. Macbeth (play) & Selected episodes of House of Cards (television series)
  77. Macbeth (play) & Selected episodes of Scandal (television series)
  78. Maus (graphic novel) & A Long Way Gone (memoir)
  79. Maus (graphic novel) & Night (autobiography)
  80. Maus (graphic novel) & Schindler’s List (film)
  81. March (novel) & Little Wome(novel)
  82. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (novel) & The Fault in Our Stars (film)
  83. Night (autobiography) & A Long Way Gone (memoir)
  84. Night (autobiography) & Girl At War (novel)
  85. Night (autobiography) & Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography)
  86. Night (autobiography) & Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)
  87. Night (autobiography) & Schindler’s List (film)
  88. Night (autobiography) & The Seven Stages of Grieving (play)
  89. Nona and Me (novel) & Looking for Alibrandi (film)
  90. Nona and Me (novel) & September (film)
  91. Of Mice and Men (novel) & Hunt for the Wilderpeople (film)
  92. Othello (play) & Desdemona (play)
  93. Othello (play) & Gone Girl (film)
  94. Othello (play) & New Boy (novel)
  95. Othello (play) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series)
  96. Othello (play) & V For Vendetta (film)
  97. Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Girl At War (novel)
  98. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Hotel Rwanda (film)
  99. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Lion (film)
  100. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Maus (graphic novel)
  101. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Night (autobiography)
  102. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You (biography) & Schindler’s List (film)
  103. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & Bride and Prejudice (film)
  104. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & Bridget Jones’s Diary (film)
  105. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & Mustang (film)
  106. Pride & Prejudice (novel) & The Wedding Plan (film)
  107. Refugee Boy (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  108. Refugee Boy (novel) & The African Doctor (film)
  109. Refugee Boy (novel) & The Arrival (picture book)
  110. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Alex and Eve (film)
  111. Romeo & Juliet (play) & A United Kingdom (film)
  112. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Freedom Writers (film)
  113. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Hairspray (film)
  114. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Meet the Patels (film)
  115. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Mustang (film)
  116. Romeo & Juliet (play) & My Big Fat Greek Wedding (film)
  117. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Tanna (film)
  118. Romeo & Juliet (play) & The Fault in Our Stars (film or novel)
  119. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Titanic (film)
  120. Romeo & Juliet (play) & Viceroy’s House (film)
  121. Romeo & Juliet (play) & West Side Story (film)
  122. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television show)
  123. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & The Green Bicycle (novel)
  124. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & The Kite Runner (novel or graphic novel)
  125. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & Wadjda (film)
  126. Safana and Aunt Sarrinah (play) & Poetry of Warsan Shire (poetry)
  127. Scattered Lives (play) & Americannah (novel)
  128. Scattered Lives (play) & Freedom Writers (film)
  129. Scattered Lives (play) & Looking for Alibrandi (novel)
  130. Scattered Lives (play) & Poetry of Peter Skrzynecki (poetry)
  131. Scattered Lives (play) & Poetry of Selina Nwulu (poetry)
  132. Scattered Lives (play) & Poetry of Warsan Shire (poetry)
  133. Schindler’s Ark (novel) & Hotel Rwanda (film)
  134. Speak (novel) & For Colored Girls (film)
  135. Speak (novel) & The Scarlet Letter (novel)
  136. Stargirl (novel) & Wadjda (film)
  137. Station Eleven (novel) & A Midsummer Night’s Dream (play)
  138. Station Eleven (novel) & Hag-Seed (novel)
  139. Station Eleven (novel) & Never Let Me Go (novel or film)
  140. Station Eleven (novel) & The Tempest (play)
  141. Stolen (play) & Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)
  142. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (novel) & Hunt for the Wilderpeople (film)
  143. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (memoir) & Queen of Katwe (film)
  144. The Color Purple (novel) & For Colored Girls (film)
  145. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (novel) & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (film)
  146. The Dreamer (novel) & Billy Elliot (film)
  147. The Drover’s Wife (play) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series).
  148. The First Third (novel) & Boy (film)
  149. The Fault in Our Stars (novel) & Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (film)
  150. The Handmaid’s Tale (novel/television series) & Never Let me Go (novel/film)
  151. The Help (novel) & A United Kingdom (film)
  152. The Help (novel) & Remember the Titans (film)
  153. The Help (novel) & The Blindside (film)
  154. The Outsiders (novel) & Hunt for the Wilderpeople (film)
  155. The Outsiders (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  156. The Outsiders (novel) & Yolngu Boy (film)
  157. The Rabbits (picture book) & Deadly, Unna? (novel)
  158. The Rabbits (picture book) & Poetry of Oodgeroo Noonuccal (poetry)
  159. The Rabbits (picture book) & Rabbit-Proof Fence (film)
  160. The Real Inspector Hound (play) & Selected episodes of Trapped (television series)
  161. The Real Inspector Hound (play) & And Then There Were None (novel)
  162. The Scarlet Letter (novel) & Easy A (film)
  163. The Skull Beneath the Skin (novel) & The Real Inspector Hound (play)
  164. The Skull Beneath the Skin (novel) & Selected episodes of Trapped (television series)
  165. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (novel) & The Drover’s Wife (play)
  166. The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman (novel) & Freedom Writers (film)
  167. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (novel) & Hamlet (play or film)
  168. The Kite Runner (novel) & Big Fish (film)
  169. The Kite Runner (novel) & Boy (film)
  170. The Queue (novel) & Animal Farm (novel)
  171. The Queue (novel) & Brave New World (novel)
  172. The Queue (novel) & Fahrenheit 451 (novel/film)
  173. The Queue (novel) & Nineteen Eighty-Four (novel)
  174. The Queue (novel) & Persepolis (film/graphic novel)
  175. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & A United Kingdom (film)
  176. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Hairspray (film)
  177. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Poetry of Langston Hughes (poetry)
  178. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Remember the Titans (film)
  179. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & Selected episodes of Redfern Now (television series)
  180. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & The Blindside (film)
  181. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel) & The Help (film)
  182. To This Day (graphic novel) & Wonder (novel)
  183. To This Day (graphic novel) & Face (novel)
  184. Vernon God Little (novel) & Elephant (film)
  185. Vinegar Girl (novel) & The Taming of the Shrew (play)
  186. Vinegar Girl (novel) & 10 Things I Hate About You (film)
  187. Voices from Chernobyl (non-fiction) & Grave of the Fireflies (film)
  188. War Horse (film) & Poetry of Siegfried Sassoon (poetry)
  189. War Horse (film) & Poetry of Wilfred Owen (poetry)

War and gender

6 Mar

In previous years, I have taught a war poetry unit to Year 9.  For various reasons, including the creation of a new scope and sequence, I will not have an opportunity to teach war poetry this year.  Ever hopeful that an opportunity to do so will present itself next year, I still keep and eye out for interesting poems to add to the collection.

While looking for poetry about journeys, I happened upon Juan Felipe Herrera’s poem ‘War Voyeurs‘.  This poem appealed in that it explicitly engaged with the motivations for war.  In this sense, it serves as an interesting counterpoint to the poetry of Jessie Pope in which young men are urged to blindly head into battle.

It also interests me in that it explores war in explicitly gendered terms.  For this reason, it would serve as a good companion (again) to Jessie Pope’s poetry which often depicts the nation as feminine and thus worthy of protection.  However, Herrera’s poem goes further than Pope’s poems in that it seems to condemn the nexus between masculinity and violence more generally.  As such, it serves as a commentary on gender relationships just as much (if not more so) than it offers a scathing criticism of war.