Found Poems Reply

0530181844-2Gwyndalynn Kent

In Mrs. Walters Language Arts classes, she has been having them evaluate and analyze pieces of art (poems, songs, paintings, etc.), most of which were about Harlem. The poems were both by Langston Hughes, one entitled ¨Jukebox Love Song¨ and the other called ¨Harlem¨. The painting was titled ¨The Block” and the song was ¨The Tattooed Bride¨.

But, let’s just focus on these poems ¨Jukebox Love Song” and ¨Harlem¨, both of which have completely different moods, tones, and themes to them. One has this very loving mood to it and the other talks about something rotting and exploding.

¨Jukebox Love Song¨

I could take the Harlem night

and wrap around you,

Take the neon lights and make a crown,

Take the Lenox Avenue busses,

Taxis, subways,

And for your love song tone their rumble down.

Take Harlem’s heartbeat,

Make a drumbeat,

Put it on a record, let it whirl,

And while we listen to it play,

Dance with you till day–

Dance with you, my sweet brown Harlem girl.

¨Harlem¨

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore—

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over—

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Now that you have seen these poems, take a few random words from them both and create your own poems using these words from the two poems. This is what a found poem is. Along with that, the students had to create a piece of found art to be the background that tied to the mood, tone, and theme of the poem they created.

They had to do all of this by Open House where they were put up and some were shared with the parents and classmates. Some students even got to see these being presented at Open House, and it was a great experience being able to present and share their own creations.

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