Thursday, December 01, 2005

"Daddy's Little Girl" and "A Pet's Love"


I love when my students surprise me.

This week, we are reading Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes poetry. I'm of the literary school that believes readers learn to understand literature better when they imitate styles of the "greats."

The work seems to become more real to them.

Most of the time, the derivative work is pretty ordinary, but that's okay. Learning through imitation is a powerful tool, not necessarily a creative writing exercise.

Occasionally, my students go beyond the exercise as an excercise and come up with work that, with some revision, could actually stand on its own.

In "A Pet's Love," the student poets have actually incorporated Ted Hughes' fused sentences, which he used for artistic purposes.

I just want my students to know that I'm so proud of them--I realize that LIT160 is an elective course, and they could just blow it off. But most of them are hanging in there. I hope they have had a little fun along the way!

Here are the poems (centered):

* * * * *

"Daddy's Little Girl" (Response to Sylvia Plath's "Daddy")

I gave you all I could
with all the time I had
if you hold onto your anger
your anger will consume
engulf, and inflame everything
you do.

let go of the past
live for tomorrow
let go of your grieving
let go of your sorrow

the men you meet will not be me,
treating them as such will
make them flee,
your life will not be worth living
if you cannot start forgiving.

Group 1: Ben Clark, Christine Deluca, Jesse Fisher, Amanda Dinmore, Jen Corvino
* * * * *

"A Pet's Love" (Response to Ted Hughes "The Lovepet")

Was it an insect was it a tick?
He flicked it. She screamed at it.
He made his voice like nails on a chalkboard.
She brought it out with terror in her eyes.
Soon it was sucking their blood.

She gave it the flesh of her neck which was bare
He gave it the force which drew more blood.

It began to grow fat but what could they do?
They gave it their house it bolted their driveway.
They gave it their attention it gobbled their strength
Even while they slept.

It ate their skin and the bone beneath
It found mice under the floor it latched onto them
They gave it hearty food and nutritious snacks.
It chewed holes in their souls.

It fell off but they cried for it to
reattach itself
It ran through their blood and sucked it dry
It bit at their numb bodies they did not resist
It sucked once again without them knowing

It burst into pieces they could not move
The pieces fell to the ground they
could not see.
Group 3: Meghan Zavorski, Caitlyn Kane, Ashling Kaim, Emily Altieri, and Laura Hulsaver

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