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Paula's Poetry Page

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Module 6: Poetry Break 26

A Poem About A Difficult Or Sensitive Subject In Children's Lives

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Introduction: This poem would be a good introduction to begin a unit on drugs and alcohol.  Have the children close their eyes while you read the poem.
 

My Papa's Waltz  by Theodore Roethke

The Whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing is not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

Taken from: 

Kalliope Poetics. "Focus on Image." Available from http://anitraweb.org/kalliope/image.html Accessed 1 August 2005.

Extension:  Ask the children how this poem made them feel.  Have them illustrate the vision or image that they created in their mind.  Discuss the actual meaning of the poem and some of the phrases that would actually indicate that the father was drunk and the mother was unhappy about the events taking place.  Ask the children if their pictures match the actual meaning of the poem.

 

Module 6: Poetry Break 27


 

This web site was created as an assignment for LS 5903 - Section 23 at TWU.
 
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