Tag Archives: poetry

Peace Poppies

Felt poppies in jarsAs part of our Poetry Unit and theme of Globalisation we looked at a picture book called “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”.  The book brings to life in images the song of the same name written by Eric Bogle in the 1970s.  We listened to the song whilst watching a video of the book.  I also had a copy of the book for the girls to read in their own time in class.

I introduced the idea of “Micro Poetry” to you.  The idea is to create powerful visual images through words in short poems such as Haiku or Twitter Poems. These were the starting point of our exploration of similes, metaphor, personification, alliteration and onomatopoeia. I loved the way that you took to micro poetry easily – you found them non-threatening, you weren’t faced with having to write a long poem, make lines rhyme and you didn’t need to write sentences.  We looked at what nouns, adjectives and verbs were and you brainstormed words that you could use that summoned up the images you saw in the book. Then you set to creating your poems.  I was amazed at the ideas you came up with and the way that you naturally used poetic techniques without really thinking about them.  We then used yoir own poems to identify examples of the poetic techniques you had used which was far more effective than trying to identify them in poems that you had never seen before.  You realised that you could write poetry which was empowering.

I also wanted to connect the ideas from the book and song with something that you had experience of. I originally had the idea of knitting poppies and sending them away as part of the “5000 Poppies” project for the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli.  However, time was running out and I felt a bit daunted about teaching 28 girls how to knit!  Mrs McGowan suggested I could help her and a local group out as they were making poppies as part of the “Peace Poppies” project.  These were cut out of felt, sewn together and then a button added.  The idea is that they will be “planted” all the way from the Court House in Hamilton along the river to Memorial Gardens for ANZAC Day. You seemed to love having “practical” lessons. I was astounded at how many of you had never sewn before, threaded a needle or sewn on a button.  Even those of you who were reticent at first because you said you didn’t know how to sew were confidently sewing by the end of the three lessons we spent making poppies. I never would have thought I would have girls coming up to me excitedly saying “Mrs Robertson, look, I threaded the needle!” or “Mrs Robertson, I made one – I sewed the button on!”

girls in a classroom sewing poppies  Although this whole unit took much longer than I planned, I think it was extremely worthwhile.  You gained so much from it in terms of confidence, I think that you had plenty of opportunity to produce your own poetry and I am convinced that it also helped you to identify poetic techniques in other poems too.  Having said that, I believe that having the confidence to express yourselves far outweighs being able to identify similes etc in poems. When in your lives (apart from English exams) will you need to do that?  And how often will you need to express themselves? All the time! You also learned about the context for ANZAC Day and understand more deeply the impact of war and the implications for survivors. We had some very interesting discussions after listening to the song, watching the video and reading the book and many of you shared stories of your own relatives and friends.

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Here are some of the poems. (I have edited the spelling and punctuation where it hindered communication!) Not all of them fall into the category of a Twitter poem or a Haiku but they are short and powerful. It was interesting that some of you struggled with the concept of 140 characters and not writing sentences. With more time, I would have liked to explore strategies for identifying words that are essential for conveying images and how you can use poetic licence to leave out unnecessary words.

Well done all of you and I am sorry that I can’t display all the poems – there just isn’t space.

Blood, bodies, bullets in every direction like bees gathering. Bodies scattered the ground like shells on the sand.

Taylor

Poppies on the hills

Sons and fathers lay fallen

We remember them.

Flags, marching, last post

And poppies to remember,

Our fallen soldiers.

Madison

Blazing Red Fire

Bullets flying everywhere
Ash, sweat, tears, blood, pain

Thousands of men marching. Brothers, fathers, cousins, neighbours. In their not yet blood, ash, sweat, tear stained khaki coloured uniform.

Charlotte

As the Poppy’s blow in the wind

I think about all who died for me.

The sick, the blind, the deaf, the scared.

Bullets screaming through the air

The deafening gunfire

That hit the poor hard working men.

The blood flows painfully through the army uniform,

The thousands that cried

For our heroes

Daan

soldiers hide in their fox holes

rats nibble on their toes

bullets shot through the sky with a bang

death and destruction everywhere

christmas day all fighting stops as they sing their christmas song.

letters from home touch their hearts

we thank you anzac boys.

Alex

Blistering hot sun

Bullets flying everywhere

Blood stained fields

Marching into battle

The sound of wild guns

Will we ever see another day?

Laying in the poppies

Family in the front of my mind

I see blood.

Madi

In the light of dawn, the break of day  

Remembering the soldiers that fought all the way

Wearing the poppies red as the blood they shed before

Recognizing the heroes they fought with in the war

A symbol of respect

To the men  they will never forget

As sun shines down on the scene of strife

But fear they will be forgotten with each new generation of life.

Emily

on!”

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Micropoetry

Well girls, your poems today were fantastic.  I loved the way that you got involved and really engaged in the activity.  These were the pictures that I gave you and the Haiku and Twitter poems you wrote.

four images in a collage, top left is graffitti on a wall, top right is a butterfly feeding on a pink camellia, bottom left is a sunset over the ocean, bottom right is a view of a cathedral and old city walls.

Bright colours glistening
Floating in the summer breeze
Life full with beauty

Fluorescent Colours
Exploring perfect flowers
so small and fragile

 
The day was old,
the clouds were flowing over the
tall elegant brick buildings
as the wind blows the trees lightly

 

Sun begins ascent.
Red rays dance into ocean
the waves start to stir

 
Sunset’s reflection
He with brushes and paint
the ocean he creates

 

Empty hallways full of gloomy darkness. Brick walls are faded brown stones. At the bottom no one hears the prisoners yelling for help to get out. The view is outstandingly beautiful. The windows are as old as a bristlecone tree. There are so many different parts you get lost. This place is so old it has become abandoned.

Shimmering Sunrise
Over the horizon and
Over Golden sand

 

Colours spiral around like the waves in the sea
Eyes stare at me like a tiger surrounding its prey.
Colours play with my mind and pull me into a mysterious world.

 

Enchanting ocean
Shimmering beautifully
Night’s song soon begins

 

Colours mix in wind
glooming bright sky shining down
flowing in a bowl

 

Blue sky hovering over head
white bubbles floating in the wind
Crunchy grains underneath my souls
hair flying in the Lord’s CO2

Poets one and all!

Our term of poetry is over and we move onto our novel study.  However, I couldn’t just move on without celebrating some of your amazing poems.  There were so many great ones to choose from and I can’t post them all here.  Why don’t you share some of your poems with each other on Google Docs and comment on them?

Here are a couple of my favourites.  The first one is from the activity to explore personification:

Image

Personification Poem by Olivia

Dawn awakes
Splashing colours all over
The blank canvas
Creating an oasis
That smears itself across the sky
Like an artist blending all sorts of colours
Together
With just one simple stroke

The morning sings
As the birds
Begin
Their well-rehearsed song
Tweeting peacefully
Splitting silence
Lingering in the air

As the heat of the day increases
The sun dances across the skies above
Shining it’s rays down
Over the cities below

Crash
The waves smash themselves forcefully
Yet so softly
Against the damp sand
Leaving a splash
Of cold salty spray
Clinging onto particles
Of the dusty golden goodness
The sea whispers softly
Words of encouragement
Filling the ears
Of scared little children
Taking their first steps into the water
Liquid licking their toes
Parents clutching their tiny hands

One mountain
Stands tall
Looking over the green countryside
Like a king overlooking his kingdom
The sky brings a beautiful bright blue
Contrasting with the trees
Dotted over the mountain

A stone sleeps
After a long day
Of hopscotch
As the sun gently melts away
Into darkness
Enveloped by long grass
Slightly swaying in the cool air

Night takes over
Shadows forming
A pitch black darkness spreading
Only once being brightened
As the moon comforts
Murmuring campers
As they await sleep to fall upon them

Stars guide the way to the morning
Leaving a sparkling trail
Like a snail
Twinkling against the black duvet of the sky

This one is Rosie’s final poem.

Image

The Llama who thought He was a Man

Stop! Wait. Go back.
Eating grass!
Cut some slack
you’re nuts

I’m not a llama
I don’t eat grass
At least, I don’t think
I have in the past

I am a llama?!
Seriously, cut the joke
You’ve said nothing but tosh
since first you spoke

Oh stop it!
I’m quite sick of this game
You don’t know a thing about humor
You’re jokes are laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame!!!!

Nope, I’m not listening
What childish behaviour
I’m going away now
See you later!

Stop following me, I say!
Please go away!
Can you not hear me at all?

I do believe
You don’t understand
Your listening skills are poor

But perhaps, I wonder
If you do understand
Then why do you insist

On insisting
I have a fury coat
Which my eyesight
Has somehow missed!

Fine, I shall prove it!
Come here to this puddle
I’ll prove I’m no animal
Your brain’s in a muddle

You see, you nutcase
My reflection is fine
I am a huma-
Wait! That face is not mine!

How can it be?
Things shouldn’t be as they are
Something is wrong!
Something is- AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

I’m a llama! I’m a llama!
What a dreadful sight!
I’m a llama! I’m a LLAMA!
Goodness help me, YOU WERE RIGHT!!!!!!

And finally, Sophie’s poem about camp is full of energy and paints a great picture of what camp was all about.

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Year 9 Camp 2014

In bushcraft we made manuka tea
Which I had to skull down on 1, 2, 3
At archery we aimed to hit a bulls eye
But I did not I just hit nearby

In rock climbing we had to climb a big wall
While trying not to think what would happen if we’d fall
If your group didn’t work as a team in ABL
You would realise you were going to be unstable

Mountain Biking had its ups and downs
Which made some of us end up with the browns!!
At raft building we had to float our team
Which in some cases was a bit extreme

You had to be good at mountaineering
To complete the challenge of orienteering
Waka Ama was a race
And we had a hard time to chase

In kayaking falling into the muddy water
Was like watching a lamb at the slaughter
I finished my week with the tramp
Which was a great way to finished such a good camp!

Poetry – what a lot of fun!

image of footprint in the sand with quote from Robert Frost, poet.  Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words"

We have been writing poetry this term and I have loved the poems that you have written either on your own or in groups. I thought that this poem from John Hegley was a great way to get you writing and you seemed to enjoy it if the results are anything to go by.

“I need you..” 

I need you like a bully needs to boast

I need you like an ocean needs a coast

I need you like a dog needs a lamppost

Their additions were fantastic!

I need you like peanut needs butter

I need you like speakers need not to stutter

I need you like I need my mother

I need you like how babies need to cry

I need you like birds need to fly

I need you like I need wi-fi.

I need you like an ant needs a nest

I need you like east needs west

I need you like a nerd needs a test

I need you like an athlete needs his toe

I need you like a clown needs a show

I need you like an old man needs his mo

I need you like a princess needs her tower

I need you like a bee needs its flower

I need you like an engine needs power

I need you like a magnet needs metal

I need you like a flower needs a petal

I need you like Hansel needs Gretel

I need you like a backpacker needs rest

I need you like Kanye needs North West

I need you like a lemon needs zest.

The next poem was a little more complex; “I want you…”

I want you like my crumpled trousers want a

press

I want you like Rumpelstiltskin

wanted the princess

to guess

I want you like a naked somnambulist

out walking on a cold winter’s night

on waking wants to dress

But we looked at the poetic elements and you commented on the offset rhymes and the lengthening lines, you also noticed how the poem was laid out and how it sounded when we read it out loud  I asked you to have a go at writing their own poems in the same sort of style and you had a really good go.  Here are some of the best ones.

i want you like the sheriff wanted the thieves
i want you like a tree wants its leaves
to cover the breeze
i want you like the dog that receives the bone
likes to tease                                                              Steph G

I want you like a heart full of love
I want you like the bully wants to shove

the kid wearing the black leather glove 
I want you like the magician wants its dove

to appear out of nowhere from above                        Katie M

I want you like a brother wants a sister
I want you like a quiet person wants to whisper
I want you like a Mrs needs her Mr

who can tell her a tongue twister.                              Alyssa B

I want you like a damsel wants her hero
I want you like a Roman 
used to dream 
of being ‘Nero’
I want you like a nerd 
dreams of no longer 
being a zero                                                               Kate W

I want you like a bee needs a flower 
i want you like a princess needs power 
to rule a tower 
I want you to show my heart how not to cower      Emily W

I want you like an athlete wants to run 
I want you like the sunset needs the sun 
I want you like a father needs a son but sometimes more than one     Jaime B

I want you like a fire needs a spark
I want you like a jandal likes to leave a tan mark

when you come out of the dark

I want you like the oven needs to start
to bake the Apple tart
when you come back from the park.                               Jess W