Glokal Yokels Episode Two: Why Can't We
Are you using the Glokal Yokel Poetry Hour in your classes? We try to include only intergenerational and universal mistruths of answers than can never be, but we do provide a list of mentor texts you can read with students before or after writing, “Why Can't We” poems
In this poem by Edgar Allen Guest the poet takes down the word Can't. This poem provides a good model for lessons on rhyme scheme, repetition, and stanza organization in general. Have students focus on the reason the poet chose to to start each line with Can't is X…and then each stanza provides more detail on X. There are also a few examples of forced rhyme that fit nothing more than the ABAB pattern.
Another poem that provides a good mentor text on the power of repetition. One ABA, ABA rhyme scheme holds for the entire poem until the last stanza with ABAA. Why does the author add the fourth line? How does this serve as an anchor for the entire poem. Draw students to this. Have students explore what does the poet mean when they say, “Time will say nothing but I told you so.”
A Shel Silverstein poem because Terry said I had to.
This poem is a good example of a quick cadence of short repetitive lines. More importantly it details what it means to be a Black youth in America.
An interesting poem that begins and ends with can't but the narrator changes to speaking not about themselves but someone else.
A poem on parenthood that follows a parallel structure of two lines going I can/I cannot.
Do you or your students want to get involved by writing poetry? here are some ideas and lesson plans.
It's mainly off the cuff but no way a bunch of English teachers do anything without pre-writing.
In the first half of the show we catch up with each other and share the theme of the show. We then share a strategy you can use to write a poem to that theme. Next we share readings of our poems. Sometimes live but often pre-recorded, like a DJ playing a track.This week we focus on “Why Can't We (or I)”
Why Can't I By Dogtrax
Why Can't I Dance by jgmac1106
Why Can't I by Sheri Edwards
2nd Half of Show
In this half we celebrate a poet connected to a theme. Choose poets who have written poems about “Why Can't I” or “Why can't We” You can also select a poem or poet who drives you past “I can't and into Why Can't I” Someone who makes you question your very rules of existence.
Sarah Mary Pugh I am not sure this is appropriate, but it's what I thought of when thinking about the theme
I chose the poems of Robert Hunter because I think of no poet who better embodied the possibilities of asking, “Why can't I” -Greg
A Deborah Garrison poem on the critical of can and can not; power and sexism.
3rd Half of Show Share other poems you wrote aligned to the theme, poems you wrote getting ready for the show, or poems you wrote after the last show.