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Part One: Warm-Up

We use and hear figurative language all the time. In one of the videos on the intro page of our module, you saw how prevalent figurative language is in the music that we listen to. Here, I would like you to locate and post 2-3 examples of figurative language from songs, poems, or anywhere really. I don’t want you to post one of the examples from the video we watched. Instead, find your own and tell us why you like them. Why do you find these examples powerful or particularly interesting? Why do you think we use figurative language to convey meaning? Remember, you can include examples of hyperbole, metaphor, simile, or personification here.

Part Two: Unit Video Response

In the intro page of our learning module, I shared three videos. What stood out to you in any of the three? Which did you find the most interesting or engaging? Did you learn anything new about metaphor or figurative language? If so, what? Did you find anything confusing or surprising?

Part Three: “There’s a Poem for That”

Watch this video for the poem “First Kiss” by Tim Seibles.

1. In this poem, the “first kiss” of the title seems to set off a kind of tidal wave of simile and metaphor. Select three that stand out to you and post them here. Tell us–why do they stand out to you? What is being compared to what in the similes and metaphors you selected? Why might this kind of figurative language help us more clearly convey intense emotions such as passion and love? Why is hard for us to express these feelings without figurative language–why do we often say things like “I can’t even describe it?” How does this poem prove that we could describe it if we were really, really good writers? :]

2. In the interview with the poet, Seibles says that he thinks that as writing can make language more agile and alive. In what ways does this poem convey that? What aspects of this poem fit that description and why do you think so? He also says that poetry should be things like ferocious, earth-shattering, and playful. Would you describe “First Kiss” or any parts of it in that way? Which parts? Use evidence to support your ideas here.

3. What do you make of the repetition of the words “I swear” throughout the poem? What about the repetition of “like that” twice at the end of the poem?

Part Four: “The Opposites Game”

1. Before watching the poem, respond to this: This poem starts out with a game inspired by one of the most famous poetic metaphors from a poem by Emily Dickinson: “My life had stood a loaded gun” The teacher asks the students to come up with the opposite of each word in the line: my, life, had stood, a, loaded, gun. What would you say is the opposite of each of these words?

You probably got stuck on the word “gun” and had to get a little creative. In a sense, this is a form of poetic thinking and figurative language. Many “thing” nouns don’t really have opposites, and so to come up with one you have to start to think metaphorically. Rather than thinking about the actual object, you probably started to think about what the object might symbolize or the connotative meanings that might be attached to it. Now, let’s take a look at the poem itself. Watch it here. [cw: reference to gun violence at the end of the poem].

2. What is your initial reaction to the poem?

Part 5:

read the poem that Tim Seibles recommends .Write a brief, 5-8 sentence paragraph response to any aspect of the poem that intrigued you. He says he thinks everyone should wrestle with this poem, so wrestle with it. Don’t worry about not understanding or relating, focus on what it makes you feel or think and then think about how it made you feel or think that way.

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