Adua’s class in Canada

Teacher: Cristiana Ziraldo
Option #1:   Assignment for you to post on her blog:

This post is meant to share with Adua’s class in Canada your view of what poetry is.  There are no right or wrong answers.  Ms. Linda Booy-Korvemaker and I would love you to read the quotations we chose about poetry.  Choose the one that speaks to you more closely.  Even if you may like all of them or none of them, choose one that is the closest to your idea of what poetry is.  Then if you can, look for a quotation yourself or much better write your quotation about poetry.  Ideally I would like you to post a poem yourselves, a poem that speaks of you at this very time.  The easiest way to do that is to jot down some key words that mirror your feelings at the time being and then link them in the way you wish.  However, “the string of words” you create should make sense.   I would appreciate if you could accompany the poem with a meaningful image or a video or a song.  Post your considerations and your poem and let us read the marvellous things that you can conceive with the power of your feelings and your mind.  Enjoy this post and enjoy sharing your views.  I am also attaching a photo of our class, can you do the same?

I have written some poetry that I don’t understand myself.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) American poet.

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Czech writer.

Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what the poet does.
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) U.S. poet.

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those we have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these things.
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) American-English poet and playwright.

A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.
Robert Frost (1875-1963) American Poet.

If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) American poet.

This is my poem for you:


Seeking out human flesh
Heading for bodies
To reduce them to corpses
The set-phrase “carpe diem”
Does not work
It sounds puerile to
Time’s ears.
We’re just left with the fickle
Realization that we’re
Figures cut out of cork
Being drifted away by
The invisible yet spiteful
Power of Time

Cristiana Ziraldo

Why should people read or write poetry? Watch this trailer.  What do you think the answer for this woman is?

A great example of the power of poetry is
                                                              Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Teacher:   Linda Booy-Korvemaker
Option #2:  Or you have the option of submitting to me at [email protected]  your “verse” or contribution in response to John Keating’s lecture in Dead Poets Society, when he says:

John Keating: We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.” That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

How not to analyze poetry:

You may submit a poem or verse that represents what you hope to contribute. Write a journal entry that explains the poem/verse and how it reflects your “verse”.


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31 Responses to Adua’s class in Canada

  1. Sarah says:

    I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
    All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
    I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
    And you help somebody every chance you get,
    -My Wish by Rascal Flatts

    I like these lyrics because it tells you that you shouldn’t reflect on your past because the past the past, but you also shouldn’t forget what got you to who and where you are today. It reminds me that whatever goes on in my life, God’s grace will always be there to pick me back up. I can use the grace God has given me to help everyone in need around me as well.

  2. creativewriter says:

    The following are some really great pieces written by Adua’s classmates. Thanks for the great job you did guys. I really appreciated reading your poems and considerations.

    I mean this, I’m not sure if you could say the same.
    Week after week after week
    Idolatry is wasted reverence, idolatry is the yellow on your teeth.
    Gasp for the truth you once lived.
    Beyond this world is what is always breathing,
    Beyond this world is worth dying for.
    I remember what you used to claim,
    You can’t bury conviction with anything.
    Our message will grow,
    No matter the mistakes made within construction.
    Beyond this world is what is always breathing,
    Beyond this world is worth dying for.
    Gasp for the truth you once lived.
    I pray that stolen glimpses do not subtract from what we’ve been building.
    Keep stride persist in our march.
    – Mike Hrancia, The Devil Wears Prada

    Mike Hrancia is the lead vocalist in the band, The Devil Wears Prada. I Love his lyrics, they are not very blatant or obvious for the most part, you have to look into them and see the awesome themes he has in his lyrics. This song is talking about idolatry and sin, and how sometimes it get in the way of the message that the band wants to portray. Mike acknowledges that beyond our world is what is always breathing and worth dying for. I think this is true for all of us, our sin will get in the way of spreading the message. We have to fight temptation, and keep persisting in our march!
    seth zantingh

  3. creativewriter says:

    Dear Chris, I did not know the poem you chose, thanks. I find it quite inspiring, it reminds me of the Italian writer Pirandello.

    We Wear the Mask

    We wear the mask that grins and lies,
    It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–
    This debt we pay to human guile;
    With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
    And mouth with myriad subtleties.

    Why should the world be overwise,
    In counting all our tears and sighs?
    Nay, let them only see us, while
    We wear the mask.

    We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
    To thee from tortured souls arise.
    We sing, but oh the clay is vile
    Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
    But let the world dream otherwise,
    We wear the mask!

    Paul Laurence Dunbar

    I chose this poem because it speaks to me. I know that I wear a mask as we all do, and I know that I should try to not always wear the mask. This poem is real to me because I know that I have many masks and that no one knows the real me and that because of the masks it is hard for me to find me as well. I have also tried to write a poem about masks, and this poem sums up what I was thinking.

    Christopher Dekker

    Dear Selena, how incredibly sweet of you. I read the choice of lyrics you made and I think you succeed in your intent. I plucked up more courage. Never, never should we ever surrender to the blackening presence of lack of hope. A friend of mine is going through a very tough phase in her life. I will invite her to read the song you chose and I thank you on her behalf. Hope she will regain hope. I love her immensily!

    Song lyrics to ‘Invincible’ by Hedley
    Took a long hard look at my life
    Lost my way while I was fighting the tide
    A big black cloud, stormy sky
    Followed me, oh I was living a lie
    So heartless, so selfish, so in darkness
    When all your nights are starless
    You’re running outta hope
    But I found the strength inside to see
    Found the better part of me
    And I’ll never let it go

    I’ve come a long, long way
    Made a lot of mistakes
    But I’m breathin’, breathin’
    That’s right and I mean it, mean it
    This time I’m a little run down
    I’ve been living out loud
    I could beat it, beat it
    That’s right, cause I’m feelin’, feelin’

    These lyrics have helped me to move forward and never lose hope. Hope can help us to “fight another day” and shape us into the person that we are meant to be. My wish is that I can help others to find faith in themselves and to never lose hope – things will get better.

    Selena Elgersma

    Well done Randy, thanks for revealing part of you and your cultural background through the choice of this song. Have a nice “muddy” day, my “country boy”. Thanks, I liked the song.

    Country Boy By Alan Jackson

    I’m a country boy, I’ve got a 4-wheel drive
    Climb in my bed, I’ll take you for a ride
    Up city streets, down country roads
    I can get you where you need to go
    ’cause I’m a country boy

    Big 35’s whinin’ on the asphalt
    Grabbin’ mud, and slingin’ up some red dirt
    ’cause I’m a country boy

    My muffler’s loud, dual Thrush tubes
    I crank the music, the tone gets real good
    Let me know when we’re gettin’ close
    You can slide on out, or we can head on down the road

    I chose a few verses from Country Boy by Alan Jackson because this song pretty much sums up how we do it out here in the country: respectable hard working guys that stand up for each other, help their neighbors out and
    love their trucks- big tires and loud mufflers (if any). Country till the day I die. Thats how we do it out here.

    Dear Alanna, what a touching poem you chose. Really something. You know, I share with you the relevance of every single minute of our existence. At my funeral I would like people to think “Thank Cristiana, you did something for us and for this reason there is a bit of you that is still living in each of us”. I think that our life acquires extra meaning when it is lived to “embellish” and “nurture” somebody else’s life. We are surrounded by greed and selfishness but the values you mention in your comments seem to crush them and prevail. 🙂

    First Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay

    My candle burns at both ends;
    It will not last the night;
    But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
    It gives a lovely light!

    This poem means to me that even though we all know that life will come to an end, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something with the little time we have. We should use our time for the benefit of not only ourselves, but to others. Shine our lights down on people so that they may see. This poem is short, and easy to understand, but I think that’s the way life should be. We should not be so
    focused on what will happen at the end of our life, but be focused on the time we have while we are living. This poem relates to me because it shows what i want my verse to be. I want to do something beneficial with my life even though I know my time here will not last. I often think about what I would want people to say at my funeral, and I would want them to say that I lived. I lived each day to it’s full potential and lived a life that can be seen by others as “a lovely light.”

    Alanna Pot

    When I am alone
    When I’ve thrown off the weight of this crazy stone
    When I’ve lost all care for the things I own
    That’s when I miss you, that’s when I miss you, that’s when I miss you
    You who are my home
    You who are my home
    And here is what I know now
    Here is what I know now
    Goes like this
    In your love, my salvation lies
    In your love, my salvation lies
    In your love, my salvation lies

    Lyrics from “Orange Sky” by Alexi Murdoch

    In this part of Alexi Murdoch’s song “Orange Sky”, Alexi is talking about life, and when we realize that we are alone. When we realize that nothing in this world, no possession, no title can ever make a difference in our lives, that is when we realize that we need God. When we come to that realization, God is our home, our rock and our refuge. In God’s love is where our salvation lies, and that should be our only care in life that is higher than any other.
    This verse and song speaks to me very passionately. Sometimes I can get so caught up with the distractions in my life, sometimes I can just forget, and block out the world around me. Sometimes I can use the distractions of this world as an escape from reality. This verse reminds me that there is no care greater than God’s love. This verse reminds me to shed the weight of the world around me and turn to God. It reminds me that God is my home, and that in his love, in his care, in his hands, my salvation lies. And I hope that the verse that I contribute in my life, will be for people to look towards God when they need him most, and know that in his Love, their Salvation lies.

    Alexander Hoekstra

  4. creativewriter says:

    My Hero by Foo Fighters

    too alarming now to talk about
    take your pictures down
    and shake it out
    truth or consequence, say it aloud
    use that evidence race it around

    there goes my hero
    watch him as he goes
    there goes my hero
    he’s ordinary

    don’t the best of them bleed it out
    while the rest of them peter out
    truth or consequence, say it aloud
    use that evidence race it around

    there goes my hero
    watch him as he goes
    there goes my hero
    he’s ordinary

    kudos my hero
    leaving all the best
    you know my hero
    the one that’s on

    there goes my hero
    watch him as he goes
    there goes my hero
    he’s ordinary

    there goes my hero
    watch him as he goes
    there goes my hero
    he’s ordinary

    I chose this song because the lyrics show what society can and should be. The writer, Dave Grohl, writes that all the heroes in his life are ordinary people and that everyone has the potential to be a hero. This is important to me because I have seen first hand how a normal person can make a big difference in the life of many even if the action seems to be very small.

    Brandon Matthew

    Response to John Keating’s quote:
    He show that poetry is more than words. Poetry is beautiful and meanigful. It is packed with emotion. He told us that we don’t read and write poetry just for fun, but we read and write for tell a story or tale. Poetry is a way of expressing ourselves to what we’ve gone through and experience. Poetry can be everything sad, exciting frightening, an experience, nonsense and etc.
    I also think that poetry can turned into lyrics or song by adding the right melody

    Phume Ngamponsukswadi

    “To His Coy Mistress”

    Had we but world enough, and time,
    This coyness, lady, were no crime.
    We would sit down, and think which way
    To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
    Thou by the Indian Ganges’s side
    Should’st rubies fine: I by the tide
    Of Humber would complain. I would
    Love you ten years before the Flood,
    And you should, if you please, refuse

    Till the conversion of the Jews.
    My vegetable love should grow
    Vaster than empires, and more slow.
    An hundred years should go to praise
    Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze:
    but thirty thousand to the rest;
    An age at least to every part,
    And the last age should show your heart.
    For, lady, you deserve this state,
    Nor would I love at lower rate.

    Jocelyn Klompmaker

    I Will Go

    To the desperate eyes and reaching hands
    To the suffering and the lean
    To the ones the world has cast aside
    Where you want me I will be

    I will go, I will go
    I will go, Lord send me
    To the world, To the lost
    To the poor and hungry
    Take everything I am
    I’m clay within your hands
    I will go, I will go, send me

    Let me not be blind with privilege
    Give me eyes to see the pain
    Let the blessing You’ve poured out on me
    Not be spent on me in vain
    Let this life be used for change

    These words inspire me to take all that I have been blessed with and use it to glorify God. I think too many people are concerned with finding a career that pays well, and using their riches for their own personal gain. When I read these lyrics I begin to think more about going out into the world and using everything I have to bless God’s kingdoms. True riches can’t be stored up on earth and having money will never fully satisfy you. Instead we need to store up riches in heaven and live a life of selflessness.

    Shannon Vanderveen

    Eleanor Rosevelt once said
    ” The purpose of life is to live it,
    to taste experience to the utmost,
    to reach out eagerly, and without fear
    for newer and richer experience.”

    This quote really reflects my idea and view of life itself. I believe life is all about the things you cant buy, like friends, family, love, and hope. It is about realizing that we have a limited amount of time here on this planet and, instead of mourning this fact, embracing it and making the absolute most out of every opportunity. This is the verse that I hope to contribute.

    Travis Feddema

  5. Bethany Stuive says:

    For this assignment I chose the song “When we stand together” by Nickelback.

    “The right thing to guide us
    Is right here inside us
    No one can divide us
    When the light is nearly gone”

    That is just one of the verses but in whole the song makes me realize that many of the problems in our world can start to be solved by people getting together and deciding to carry on. It doesn’t have to be big but change has to happen and this song shows that change is easier when you are making the change as a group. The group allows for encouragement and accountability. In order to make the change, we must stand together.

    A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.
    Robert Frost (1875-1963) American Poet.
    I find this quote speaks to me the most. As I was searching for a poem I realized that I had a few emotions that really did cause lumps in my throat. It made me realize that poetry forces you to address your emotions and I quickly realized that I am full of them.

  6. Cristiana says:

    heres my song lyrics

    composure- august burns red
    Shake it off.
    Pick yourself up, they say.
    Your life fell apart in your hands, and you’ve got the scars to prove it.
    It’s not the first time, and they’re getting deeper.
    Pull it together.
    Button up your shirt.
    Roll down those sleeves.
    Don’t let them see how you’ve coped.
    More and more your demeanor looks like quicksand.
    It seems like your giving up on everything you worked for.
    It’s pulling you under.
    It’s gripping around your throat.
    Life can be overwhelming,
    But don’t turn your back on the strongest crutch you’ve ever had.
    They have always been there to brace your fall.
    Wave goodbye to the past.
    You’ve got your whole life to lead.
    It’s time to gain some ground.
    it speaks to me because it talks about how sometimes life isn’t going how you want it and you may be going through all these pains and sufferings and it seems like no one is there to help you and your about to give up, but then it talks about forgetting about the past and look forward to the future, and that there has always been someone there to help you, you just have to find them.
    Kaleb Antonides

    Don’t Quit
    by: Unknown Author

    When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
    When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
    When funds are low and the debts are high,
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
    When care is pressing you down a bit.
    Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
    Life is queer with its twists and turns
    As every one of us sometimes learns.
    And many a failure turns about
    When he might have won had he stuck it out:
    Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
    You may succeed with another blow.
    Success is failure turned inside out –
    The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
    And you never can tell how close you are.
    It may be near when it seems so far:
    So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
    It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

    I chose this poem as I feel that it is the most “real” one and that it can easily be applied into almost everyone’s life. Life always will have it’s highs and lows but you still have to pull through no matter what and just take whatever life gives you and make the best of it. When the going gets tough, just like the last line of the poem says, you must keep going because how can it get better if you do not try to make it better?

    Tom Potac

  7. Linda Booy-Korvemaker says:

    Thank you to my ENG4U class of 2011-12 – you have shown me the value of human nature through poetry. Many of you have shared something thoughtful and personal. It has helped me learn about you.
    Thank you to Adua for persisting and to Cristiana for making it all happen. What a wonderful experience to share our thoughts and inspirations with you and your class in Italy. Thank you!

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