Reflection: High Expectations For Some Slight I Can't Quite Recall - Section 3: Annotating the Poem

 

Ross Gay's poem is tough.  It is violent and challenging and so very rich.  I have taught the poem for two years, and the students find it difficult to analyze.  On the one hand, they can follow the story because the poet is amazing and the descriptions jump off the page.  We almost feel like we are on the bus, watching the fight.  But if you don't get the significance of the lamb, for instance, it can be hard to analyze the contrasts that the poet does so deftly.  However, I think this poem does something that the novel does not, and -- that is -- it looks at the "bully" and, by providing us some key information, allows us to feel compassion for him.

The poem is complicated and interesting in its treatment of violence, and I think it is a good gateway for analyzing Gene's character in A Separate Peace, not because they are the same, but because they are treated differently by their creators.

This is tough stuff, and it delves into morality and judgement calls that some 13-year olds may not be ready to make.  But it makes them think.

  Tough people, tough readings
  High Expectations: Tough people, tough readings
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For Some Slight I Can't Quite Recall

Unit 16: A Separate Peace
Lesson 5 of 8

Objective: SWBAT compare violent encounters in literature, along with their aftermath

Big Idea: Through comparison, big ideas and small nuances are brought forth.

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