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Younger Readers: Poems for Fun
 
Older Readers: Poems about Passion DISCUSSION GUIDE
 
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  The discussion guide below is divided into two parts: (1) IMITATION and (2) DISCUSSION exercises. Teachers can use the imitation exercises to encourage students to write their own poems or stories. The discussion exercises are intended to spark students to think about applying the ideas in the poems to their own lives.  
  # POEM BOOK  
  8. Blue Rendezvous Rhythm & Dues  
  IMITATION EXERCISE
Write a poem about missed opportunities. You could use the blues form suggested by “Blue Rendezvous,” following the example of this poem, which uses a three beat, rhymed couplet, repeats it, and follows that with a three-line “response” verse.

DISCUSSION EXERCISE
Talk about the idea of “missed opportunities” in love. Has it happened to you? What was your feeling about the circumstances?

 
  13. Don’t Owe a Dime Rhythm & Dues  
  IMITATION EXERCISE
Write about some special moment of communication between you and a special partner. On the other hand, you could also write about seeing such a moment in another couple. What does it look like? How does it feel?

DISCUSSION EXERCISE
Talk about the ways lovers communicate with each other. What is the relationship between silent and verbal communication? Compare your style of communicating with those of a long-term couple you know. (Consider “long-term” to mean a couple that has been together five years or more.) Talk about how each type of communication helps people bond with each other.

 
55. My Pleasure For the Love of Life
IMITATION EXERCISE
Write a praise poem for someone you treasure. Make a list of six or seven traits you like about this person, then choose just two of them for your poem.

DISCUSSION EXERCISE
Talk about what it means to “treasure” someone. Discuss the relationship between treasuring a person, on the one hand, and deriving both emotional and sensual pleasure from that person’s presence, on the other. How does this poem consider this relationship?

66. Quick, Fast and Inahurry For the Love of Life
IMITATION EXERCISE
Write a poem that answers this one. It should be a poem that treats this one as if someone you care about directed it to you personally.

DISCUSSION EXERCISE
The speaker of this poem is demanding that her lover make time for her. Discuss the conceit of the poem, wherein the speaker is making this demand, but the lover seems occupied with the mundane tasks of life, and is ignoring her. Talk about the importance to life of making time for love.

68. Raunchy Thought Rhythm & Dues
IMITATION EXERCISE
Write a poem about sexual desire, but without resorting to profanity or graphic descriptions of body parts. Perhaps you could write a “clean” version of a popular rhyme, or rap.

DISCUSSION EXERCISE
We live in an age where the sexually explicit is the norm. Discuss how you discuss issues related to sexual desire in a way that does justice to that desire without resorting to explicit language.

81. Sweet Stuff Click on M&Ms Rhythm & Dues
IMITATION EXERCISE
Write a poem full of hints about sexual fantasy. Use lots of metaphors, and lots of nouns, but keep it vague.

DISCUSSION EXERCISE
Discuss the use of figurative language in poetry, especially the use of metaphor. One focus of the discussion can be on how the use of such figures (metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, personification, etc.) can expand the tools available to the writer.