The Fist by Derek Walcott
The Forms of Love by George Oppen
No, Love is Not Dead by Robert Desnos
translated by William Kulik
- Identify key symbols and images
- Write a poem that uses images and symbols, in conversation with one of the three love poems
Note: Any, or all, of the activities in Part I can serve as pre-activities for the writing activities. Also, you may want to read each of these three poems collaboratively in small groups following a similar protocol to that used in Part I.
Give your students copies of all three poems. Ask:
- one person to read "The Fist" aloud to the whole class; another to read it aloud again.
- another to read "The Forms of Love" aloud to the whole class; and a third to read it aloud again.
- a fourth person to read "No, Love is Not Dead" aloud to the whole class, and another to read it aloud again.
While the poems are being read, ask the other students to read along, listen carefully and write down the images, words and phrases that jump out at them.
Have them turn and talk to a neighbor about the images, words and phrases.
Go quickly around the room and ask one member of each pair to report on what they discovered. Write these on the board in the front of the room.
Conduct a whole class discussion about how each of the poets feels about love. Make sure your students provide examples of words, images and phrases from the poems to back up their assertions.
After this discussion, tell your students they are going to write their own poem that is the “other side” of one of the love relationships in the poems, similar to the way the Browning poems are two sides of the same love. Each student should pick one of the poems with which they want to work. Their response poems should include images, phrases and words that help them describe the feelings this other side of love has.
Your students should write a draft for peer comments and revision, and then a final draft. (If you have not done peer review before, see some ideas are available in the lesson Letters to Poets.)You might want to compile the final poems into a class book for sharing.
Ask your students to keep a running list on the front board in the room of the words in the poems they do not understand. These may include:
A la mysterieuse