December 9

ELA A30 B9 Expressions of the Land

  1. Listening to Canadian Poetry Samples: Poetry can cover all sorts of topics and experiences, but in this section you’ll read poems that are grounded in an experience or perspective of the landscape, nothing else.

    Depending on your experience with poetry, you may have encountered some particular poems you really enjoyed or others you just didn’t get. It’s interesting to realize poems can be about any topic, even some surprising ones.

    Below are two poems written by Canadian author Al Purdy: one is narrated by the author himself and the other was developed into a performance video and partially narrated by Canadian singer Gord Downie. The topics of these aren’t maybe what you’d expect!

    Audio file: “Homemade Beer” – you can follow along with the written poem on your handout cover page.

    The “yellow flowers” in this poem aren’t like the ones you’ll typically find in poetry.

  2. Before Reading Activity: Draw out the scenery you picture while listening to the loons call out.
  3. Poem # 1 (Unnamed Poem) Below is the poem read aloud; it may help with your comprehension of it.

  4. Poem #2 “Between Two Furious Oceans”(Audio narration of the poem is given below.)


April 7

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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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 Yououch, 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 Exercisea poem about wallowing in the negative 

Respirationfeeling 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 Fallinga 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 Pickingmemories 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 Manthe cycle of harvest and sale on the farm 

Those Winter Sundaysa writer looks back recognizing how much his father cared for him 

Playing Deadmemories of a game a father played with his kids

Poem for Harukoa 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 Marriagewoman recounts her doubt even before marrying her husband 

Dear Lifecomparing 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