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.
Before Reading Activity: Draw out the scenery you picture while listening to the loons call out.
Poem # 1 (Unnamed Poem) Below is the poem read aloud; it may help with your comprehension of it.
Your next assignment in ELA B30 is toselect 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.