Monday, April 09, 2007

Lesson Plan Week 3

Lesson Plan Week 3

Some website information

Terry Martin:

On the ride home

Creative Responses

Study Questions

This book is #20 on a national best seller list for poetry.

Point to specific reasons why you think this book has found such a wide audience.

Part of this question is to get you thinking about why people buy any book, but a poetry book in particular.

1. For section one—explain “what repeats itself”
2. For section two—explain what “edges blur”
3. Does TM reveal what the secret is? What is it?
4. Find three poems—one from each section of the book—that exemplify TM’s style/voice and explain why you’ve chosen them.
5. TM makes frequent use of the natural world as a metaphor. Find 2-3 examples of this and explain how the metaphor works. That is, what is being compared to what? How are they similar?
6. Richard Hugo says, if you are not risking sentimentality, you’re not in the ballpark.

Using examples from TSLOW, explain the difference between sentimentality and sentiment.

Sentimentality is on one hand a literary device that is used to induce an emotional response disproportionate to the situation, and thus to substitute heightened and generally uncritical feeling for normal ethical and intellectual judgments, and on the other it is a heightened reader response that is willing to invest previously prepared emotions to respond disproportionately to a literary situation. (from wikipedia)

Sentiment: The expression of delicate and sensitive feeling, especially in art and literature

What the notebook holds.


Introduction to Jim Bodeen

Duende; The Muse; Notebooks

What he’s written.

What he’s writing about now: peace activism; human rights; his mom; travel to Alaska, Honduras, El Salvador, the South West;

Brief Bio:






Viet Nam


The Place

Davis High

Latino Literature

Blue Begonia Press



Thinking About Buckshot Kneaded in the Plastic

After the Healing

Bowbells, North Dakota

Alone with the Trombones

Cleaning up the Yard

Structure of ITL:
Dante’s Divine Comedy: Journey into Hell, Purgatory, Paradise

Repeated in section 1, 2, 3.

Study questions:(These are still rough. For all of them remember, "even the middle is an extreme")

  1. Pick one poem from each section of the book. Rearrange them in your own order. Build a book within a book. Explain your choices for poems and explain why you put them in that order. How do they “talk” to each other in this new order? Is this a different story? The idea is to get you thinking about the sequence of the poems.

2. Find three examples of Bodeen’s sense of humor. How does he use humor in his poems? Does it have a purpose, make a statement? How do they fit in the chapters?

3. Explain the connection to Viet Nam for the last poems in the book starting with “Rexroth” poem.

4. Show how the first section: Nothing is Hid, is also structured as an initiation ritual, in miniature.

5. Tolstoy said you must be wounded into writing, but you musn’t write until the wound has healed. Toni Morrison says, language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation."

For the sake of argument, I loosely paraphrase Morrison as: Write to heal the wound.

And Tolstoy tells us to button our lip until we have something to say.

Which impulse better descrbes Bodeen’s book? Whose advice does he seem to follow?

6. This book is a book about recovery and discovery. What does Bodeen recover? What does he discover? How does he do it?

Imitation suggestions: What I Learned from My Mother; A poem written in your mother's voice (how about a combination of the first two: How would your mother answer this question "What I Learned From My Mother"; A poem written in the voice of a forgotten person, avoid the homeless; A political poem; a journey poem; a dialog between two characters who are really two parts of your personality--I like this last one;

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