Friday, March 6, 2009

Poetry Break Review - Poetry that does not rhyme

Introduction: One of the very first things I did when I moved to San Antonio was visit the Alamo. You walk through a greenery covered breezeway to enter the grounds. As soon as you enter the gardens behind the Mission itself, it's as if all sound is cut off - this is hallowed ground. This silence can be felt in the daytime as well as the nighttime. Do the tourists feel the reverence, or are they too busy being tourists?

Alamo Plaza at Night
by Carol Coffee Reposa

Even now, tourists come
To gaze up at the chipped facade,
Weathered double doors
Oaks twisting into dark, floodlights
Trained along their branches.
Cameras flash agaist white limestone
Pocked with centuries
And gunshots long ago.

Within the walls
And Roman arches
Heavy with their bars
Are tidy gardens:
Boston fern droops langidly
Toward fresh-cut grass
and copper plants.
Goldfish wallow in their quiet ponds.

Outside people talk about the mission,
Where to go, what to eat.
Visitors brood over maps
And time-lapse shots, children peering
At old plaques, words lost
Within a diesel's whine, the clop-clop
Of a horse's hooves, wind rising
In dark trees, voices gathered
Into the stones.

(From A STUDENTS’ TREASURY OF TEXAS POETRY by Billy Bob Hill, Editor. TCU Press 2002)

1. Read this poem as an introduction to the Texas Revolution in a Texas History class.
2. If you have the misfortune to not live in Texas, this poem could be read as an introduction to the Texan Revolution in an American history class.
3. Every culture has its special places – the Alamo, Arlington Cemetery, Osaka castle, and Tiananmen Square; just to name a few. In a high school world history class, read this poem, then lead a class discussion on why cultures need those special places.

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