A3.1 Choosing a Poem for your Performance
Your next assignment in ELA B30 is to select a poem of appropriate difficulty level and at least 15 lines and to dramatically perform it for the class.
Ways of completing this assignment:
- If you’d like to book time to perform your poetry reading live in private, like during a lunch hour or before or after school, we could see if that’s possible.
- Another way of performing your poetry reading would be to record it. It would involve you memorizing your poem, practicing a dramatic reading of it, considering the appropriate use of body language gestures, eye contact to the camera, and possibly even background effects (setting, music, lighting) to enhance your presentation.
With the recorded method, you have a lot more control over the elements and clarity of your assignment; if you make a mistake, you start over. That’s a pretty big benefit to this choice.
If you did consider the recorded version, use an example like the video below (or others shared online) to help you picture what that could look like. You may have seen this video before, as I’ve used it as an example of dramatic poetry reading in other grades!
To help you get a sense of poems that would be suitable for this assignment, I’m going to give you a few links of ones that would work well for your choice.
You could also consider whether any poems shared in the Google Doc for your CC activity in Section A3 would be suitable and interesting to you.
Megan Married Herself – woman decides to be her own partner in life and has a wedding
Death is Nothing at All – (dead) speaker claims death doesn’t change a relationship with a loved one who died
After the Dinner Party – host of a party realizes her guests don’t recognize what is valuable to her
The Friend – the strange cycle of gaining and losing friendships
Sorcery – the dangers of attraction
Old Love – author recounts how a relative mourned their wife of many decades
The Wolves – family members watch someone ill and suffering as they dye slowly
Love, I’m Done With You – ouch, a bitter breakup poem!
I am Trying to Break Your Heart – taxidermy comparison
To You Again – someone in a relationship feels unnoticed
Good Bones – a mother explains how she tries to filter the bad of the world from her kids (harsh tone)
Little Exercise – a poem about wallowing in the negative
Respiration – feeling uneasy in your skin, even to breathe
Elegy for Mother, Still Living – man recounts the parent-child relationship when he was a boy compared to seeing her old now
Snow Falling – a man whose daughter has wanted to play outside with him but he couldn’t because he was ill
Bluebells – a woman holds her child in a flower field and expresses both tranquillity and tension
I Could Touch it – a man’s wife is ill and he selfishly wants his adult son near for comfort
Poem Which Talks Back to Itself – poem speaks to parents of a boy who went missing/was murdered?
Tula [“Books are Door Shaped”] – a young girl longs to read books but is forbidden
An Irish Airman Foresees his Death – contemplates what good he is doing, if any, in the war
Blackberry Picking – memories of collecting buckets of berries in the summer
The One About the Robbers – author recollects a fond memory with her father
kitchenette building – the mundane business of a family
Ox Cart Man – the cycle of harvest and sale on the farm
Those Winter Sundays – a writer looks back recognizing how much his father cared for him
Playing Dead – memories of a game a father played with his kids
Poem for Haruko – a poem of longing for a past relationship/feeling
I am Offering This Poem – author has little to share to show love
What I Never Told you of Marriage – woman recounts her doubt even before marrying her husband
Dear Life – comparing being in love to being a fish caught on a hook
In Defense of a Long Engagement – contemplating on the promise of marriage as being most important
Sideman – comparisons of other famous pairs
The Song is You – narrated from the perspective of a musical instrument abandoned and missing the love of its artist