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EnglishmanRob
June 13th, 2015, 12:40 PM
Hi!
I'm writing all the English teaching for an English camp in July. This is to teach non-native speakers all about English. Most will be intermediate level, but some above or below.

The last lesson is focused on poetry, and I want to show them 10 or 12 of the best short poems. (max 32 lines)

So, would you please suggest some of your favourite (reasonably short and simple) poems?
And sorry, but no Shakespearian sonnets or anything where the English is too old to be easily understood.

Thanks for any help you can give!

Rob

musichal
June 13th, 2015, 12:48 PM
Richard Cory (E. A. Robinson)
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (R. Frost)
Fire and Ice (R. Frost)
Trees (J. Kilmer)

escorial
June 13th, 2015, 04:48 PM
go with philip Larkin..man he's easy to read and understand but there is more to....

TeriBeth
June 13th, 2015, 05:50 PM
Sleeping In The ForestI thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

- Mary Oliver (http://www.poetseers.org/contemporary-poets/mary-oliver/index.html)

Blade
June 13th, 2015, 08:51 PM
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (R. Frost)

Ozymandias (Shelley)

The Second Coming (W.B. Yeats)

I will think about it. It would be nice to have a selection of authors to demonstrate.:encouragement:

fallenangel09
July 6th, 2015, 07:38 AM
I made the highway man by Alfred noyes unto a video for a school project. It's my favorite non Edgar Allan Poe. I love the conquer worm, the bells ,a paen
Annabelle Lee and of course the raven by Edgar Allan Poe

mvr moorthy
May 29th, 2018, 06:55 PM
Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,-behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, oer the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it-he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
----- SHELLEY

EmmaSohan
June 2nd, 2018, 03:04 PM
I know . . .
I know I should feel sorry for my wife
her husband is dying
but . . .
I have other thoughts on my mind
(RayEverett)

That's from WritersForum, so I assume I can reproduce it here?

It's my favorite poem. Note how conceptual it is. But in a way it's a brilliant use of the medium of poetry.

I mention this because, you might want to teach them how poetry is a medium and THEY CAN USE IT. That would be more useful to non-native speakers, I think. That particular poem of course is minimal vocabulary, but what I'm trying to say is the if you have a thought on your mind, and you need to write it down (useful!), one format is poetry.

Should the last line begin with "but"?

Rhymetravilla
June 3rd, 2018, 03:41 PM
Look up a book called the flowers of evil.

TL Murphy
June 20th, 2018, 10:07 PM
Bluebird by Charles Bukowski
Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins
The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams
The Tollund Man by Seamus Heaney
Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night by Dylan Thomas

clark
June 20th, 2018, 10:30 PM
Your restriction to TWELVE lines--which i see a lot of people have ignored--closes out a lot of modern poetry, even some non-traditional sonnets.

TL Murphy
June 21st, 2018, 12:39 AM
Clark, 32 lines.

Bloggsworth
June 22nd, 2018, 11:01 AM
I think you need really simple poems, not ones loaded with inference, metaphor or symbolism, as if they are not native English speakers the subtlety may pass them by. I would look at some of the more advanced children's poems or the work of poets like Pam Ayres whose ideas relate to life as lived by ordinary people and have an element of humour, always useful when teaching, as laughter lifts the soul and makes things memorable.

Darren White
June 22nd, 2018, 11:08 AM
Your restriction to TWELVE lines--which i see a lot of people have ignored--closes out a lot of modern poetry, even some non-traditional sonnets.

Clark, 10-12 poems, 32 lines :)

clark
June 22nd, 2018, 05:16 PM
Rob -- I'm going to do this in fits and starts throughout the day. Here's the first instalment:

Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd. . . (depending on your teaching objectives, you can have a lot of fun with the THREE parodies (all cynical!) of poets from subsequent eras, all using Marlowe's structure and all slamming the pastoral tradition: see Ralegh, The Nymph's Reply; Donne, The Bait; Marvel, To His Coy Mistress

Ben Jonson, Epitaph on Elizabeth, L.H.
You'll want at least one example of the couplet, wielded by a Master. I would suggest that you use only lines 3 - 6 of this short Epitaph. The four lines stand on their own and are simply magnificent.

John Donne, Holy Sonnet 7. Donne's soaring, complex, 'metaphysical' imagery at its finest. The imagery is elaborate, but actually linear and quite clear. About as OPPOSITE a use of imagery from Jonson's stark simplicity as you're likely to find. Great opportunity for a teaching moment--bellow this poem aloud like an Evangelist from the pulprit!

.......more later

TL Murphy
June 22nd, 2018, 05:44 PM
As much as I admire Clark’s taste in poetry, I think his choices are more for a poetry class than English as a Second Language. The goal is to teach contemporary conversational English. To introduce a bunch of poetry from a time when the spoken English sounded quite different is just going to confuse students. On the other hand, I don’t think children’s poetry is suitable either. It doesn’t offer the subtleties of developed language.

Kevin
June 22nd, 2018, 06:43 PM
I've heard audio versions work well with English learners.
Perhaps some Marshall Mathers. He enunciates well. And is still alive/ somewhat contemporary.

clark
June 22nd, 2018, 11:02 PM
Tim -- Rob gave no information about the first languages of the students at this camp, I did assume that Chinese would dominate , since they comprise a huge segment of immigrants to English-speaking countries. My last teaching gig before retiring was 17 years at the BC Institute of Technology. In the last 8 of those years, BCIT was inundated--by the thousands-- with new students from mainland China and Taiwan. One of the main problems these students had in comprehending meaning in written English was--just that--ALL of their work and exposure to English was on the page or screen. They rarely heard it, so their typical pattern was to look up English words, "get" their meaning, then try to apply. All of this in their heads. Which of course are filled with the sounds and nuances of their own language. In Chinese, as I know you know, Meaning is determined TONALLY: whether a vowel is rising or falling dictates meaning, and the length of time a vowel is held, profoundly affects meaning (a friend in Taiwan fell in love with a Chinese girl. At his first meeting with her parents, he used the word "ma" [mother] to praise the woman. "Ma" also means something to do with horses. He ended up calling her a horse's ass. The romance did not go too well). English is a STRESS-meaning language. Every word in English has a stressed syllable which along with context signals meaning, but meaning is NOT typically affected by rising or falling tone or by vowel length. These hugely different realities of sound drive Chinese speakers half-mad, as does our bewildering use of homonyms. I challenged them to make up sentences illustrating this last--an exercise they very much enjoyed. I remember the best of the best: "So you refuse to refuse the dynamite in the refuse dump."

I accept Tim's criticism that my selection of poems is for "a poetry class"--a very special poetry class where the students need to hear a variety of the sounds of English. And I selected the poems in hopes that hearing those sounds will get them closer to marrying meaning to usage in a sound system so dramatically different than their own. The vocabulary of the poems selected is NOT difficult and few (I can't think of any) of the words have passed out of use. These 'older' poems also manifest greater consistency of rhythm than do contemporary poems, Hearing the four poems in the Marlowe/Ralegh/Donne/Marvel progression, for example is a comfort zone for ESL students, in that they can hear exactly the same rhythm in different contexts. How English sounded back in the day seems irrelevant. Rob will read them aloud in HIS speech.

Rob--whichever poems you select, do yourself and your ESL (the term is rapidly becoming moribund, supplanted by the more accurate acronym EAL, where A = Additional) students a favour. About two weeks before the poetry sessions, research then give your students a list of links to YOUTUBE poetry readings. There are dozens. Get them listening, becoming accustomed to the sounds and rhythms of poetry in English. And, depending on your own voice, you might even want to practice yourself.

I disagree with Tim--Tim and I turn disagreeing now and then into an undeclared indoor sport. But we still drink beer together--in his choice of Red Wheelbarrow. The poem is one of the most influential poems of the 20th C, but its layout on the page and the complex history behind it would probably be too much for EAL students


I'll come up with a few more poems later.

Phil Istine
June 23rd, 2018, 03:32 AM
I think The Fog by William Henry Davies could be a good choice.

It's within the stipulated line length, has a message within it, and the language use would probably stretch an ESL speaker without being out of reach.
It also has lines 2 and 4 of each stanza rhyming with a false rhyme near the end (read it and you'll see what I mean).
I remember this one from class when I was about 10.

ETA: I notice the rather archaic (or Scot-specific) word "ken" in the first stanza, but you could explain that to your students.

Bayview
June 23rd, 2018, 03:08 PM
Edna St. Vincent Millay? That "My candle burns at both ends" poem is pretty accessible, but has some staying-power. She has other short pieces that work for me, too...


Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:

Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!


Maybe Ozymandius? I remember that from high school, so it has some staying power, too.

In Flanders Fields and/or Dulce et Decorum Est? Also from high school memories, although obviously the memories have been refreshed over the years. But the emotion isn't too complex or hard to parse, so it'd probably work for learners?

Meeting at Night by Browning? - some really nice phrases to be savoured.

Stop All The Clocks, maybe? You could play the clip from 4 Weddings and a Funeral, although the accent might be a bit of an unfair addition to the learning experience!

Keep the gloom going with some Christina Rosetti? "When I am dead, my dearest..." or equivalent?

clark
September 7th, 2018, 08:03 PM
Bayview -- absolutely none of my business, so you of course may completely ignore my request, tell me to perform an anatomically impossible act upon myself. . .whatever. You could even tell me to go jump. . . . .in a Private Message. Some people put up their photo, others post an avatar of Something that amuses or moves them, etc. Then there are some of our fellow poets that choose, as is their absolute right, to leave the space empty or blank etc. Your image, however, is a full-colour image of a female front-on head view with the features blanked out. Forgive me for just bein' a Kurious Kritter. . .and remember all yer "go to hell" options!

Bayview
September 8th, 2018, 02:17 AM
Bayview -- absolutely none of my business, so you of course may completely ignore my request, tell me to perform an anatomically impossible act upon myself. . .whatever. You could even tell me to go jump. . . . .in a Private Message. Some people put up their photo, others post an avatar of Something that amuses or moves them, etc. Then there are some of our fellow poets that choose, as is their absolute right, to leave the space empty or blank etc. Your image, however, is a full-colour image of a female front-on head view with the features blanked out. Forgive me for just bein' a Kurious Kritter. . .and remember all yer "go to hell" options!

It's ME! (artist's rendering, obviously).

I don't use my own photo for publicity-type stuff, so I asked someone to draw this for me. So... it's ME!

klimbo
May 23rd, 2019, 11:28 AM
Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,-behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o’er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it-he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.Tutuapp (https://tutuapp.uno/) 9apps (https://9apps.ooo/) Showbox (https://showbox.kim/)
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
----- SHELLEY
i like it thankscool

Ma'am
May 25th, 2019, 05:01 PM
Here's a great poem, imo. "Pop! Goes Korea" by Franny Choi:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGulIdI-3XE

ETA: Oops, it's not 10-12 lines as requested in the original post but then again, that was from 2015.

lovelash
June 1st, 2019, 02:44 AM
Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,-behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o’er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it-he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
----- SHELLEY
https://get-9apps.com Vidmate (https://installvidmate.com) https://get-cartoonhd.com


I really loved it, looking for more in future! :)

Ralph Rotten
June 1st, 2019, 04:51 AM
One dark night, in the middle of the day
Two dead men got up to fight.
Back to back, they faced each other.
They drew their swords and shot each other.
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
and came and shot those two dead boys.
If you don't believe this lie is true,
then ask the blind man, he saw it too.


That's the only poem I know. The only other poetry I know rhymes with penis, so I'll spare you.

Bloggsworth
June 1st, 2019, 10:10 AM
Warning by Jenny Joseph

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

Not Waving But Drowning - Stevie Smith

And Death Shall Have No Dominion - Dylan Thomas

Night Mail - WH Auden You can get people reading this aloud as a group and they can feel the rising pace with the rhythm of the poem. https://youtu.be/zmciuKsBOi0

The Red Wheelbarrow - William Carlos Williams