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Paula's Poetry Page

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Module 3: Poetry Break 11

A Poem with a Refrain or Chorus - Indicate the Refrain 


Introduction: To introduce this poem, I would ask students if they had ever had one of those moments that was just "tragic."  One of those events that was so horrible they thought they would never be able to get over it! "The Tragic Night" is a poem that lets everyone know we have all had a "tragic" event in our life at one time or another.  After I read the poem a couple of times for the students, I would put the words up on chart paper or powerpoint for the students to read.  They could join in on the refrain to help add emphasis to "The Tragic Night."
The Tragic Night - (Refrain is indicated in italics)
          Bloom! Bloom!
          I was supposed to bloom
          When the lights shone
          On my side of the room!
I was a tulip,
In our class spring play,
My part was to bloom,
When lights shone my way.
All of the flowers
Were curled up so tight,
On one side of the stage,
In the dark of night.
           Bloom! Bloom!
          I was supposed to bloom
          When the lights shone
          On my side of the room!
I waited
For those lights to say,
Flowers, bloom,
It's a splendid day!
I didn't open my eyes
Or even take a glimpse,
But it took so long that
My whole body grew limp.
           Bloom! Bloom!
          I was supposed to bloom
          When the lights shone
          On my side of the room!
I started to hear
Such a soft, dreamy tune,
Then I fell asleep,
In my flower costume.
          And that's when the lights shone
          On my side of the room.
All the tulips
So slowly rose,
Stretched their petals,
Began to grow,
Filled a garden
In perfect rows.
One dumb flower
Stayed tucked up tight,
Didn't hear the sounds,
Didn't see the lights,
Didn't bloom at all,
That tragic night.
           Bloom! Bloom!
          I was supposed to bloom
          When the lights shone
          On my side of the room!
Taken from:
     DO! MORE POEMS ABOUT SCHOOL. Illustrated by: G. Brian
     Karas. New York: Four Winds Press. ISBN: 0027255824.
Extension:  This poem is full of action that would allow for a wonderful poetry performance.  Place the students in groups so they could act out "The Tragic Night."  They could have one speaker or they could alternate speakers, but they could all join in on the refrain to add emphasis to "The Tragic Night."
This is also a great writing opportunity.  The students could write about the "tragic" event in their life as well.
The poem could also set the stage for a general talking and sharing session about feelings and things that just sometimes happen in life and how to deal with those events. 

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