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Elaine Carey

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Poetry Unit
by Elaine Carey   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Posted: Sunday, April 06, 2008

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For my ESL classes, we're analyzing popular songs. It's quite tricky explaining some of the devices.

{Additional notes: I found that the kids really got confused on critiquing the poetic devices vs. reacting to the musical style.  We had to clarify that over and over. Of course, 6th grade is miles away from understanding anything abstract.}

 

I found the lyrics for several songs that are both clean and full of poetic devices.  (Please warn me if these are in copyright violation!  I just cut and pasted them from the web)

Of course, students are looking for things like author, speaker, dramatic situation, metaphors, similes, figures of speech, imagery, theme, and tone, repetition, and rhyme.  So far, this has been a great way to teach symbolism and new vocabulary. 

 
Artist: RASCAL FLATTS
Author: Marcus Hummon, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
"Bless The Broken Road"

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

[Chorus:]
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

[Chorus]

Now I'm just rolling home
Into my lover's arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.
 





    NATASHA BEDINGFIELD
"Unwritten"

I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way
(Chorus)
(Chorus)



Oh, yeah, yeah


 









Lifehouse
Whatever It Takes Lyrics


A strangled smile fell from your face
It kills me that I hurt you this way
The worst part is that I didn't even know
Now there's a million reasons for you to go
But if you can find a reason to stay

I'll do whatever it takes
To turn this around
I know what's at stake
I know that I've let you down
And if you give me a chance
Believe that I can change
I'll keep us together whatever it takes

She said "If we're gonna make this work
You gotta let me inside even though it hurts
Don't hide the broken parts that I need to see"
She said "Like it or not it's the way it's gotta be
You gotta love yourself if you can ever love me"

I'll do whatever it takes
To turn this around
I know what's at stake
I know that I've let you down
And if you give me a chance
And give me a break
I'll keep us together, I know you deserve much better

But remember the time I told you the way that I felt
That I'd be lost without you and never find myself
Let's hold onto each other above everything else
Start over, start over

I'll do whatever it takes
To turn this around
I know what's at stake
I know I've let you down
And if you give me a chance
and believe that I can change
I'll keep us together whatever it takes

 






    Jimmy Eat World
The Middle lyrics

Hey, don't write yourself off yet
It's only in your head you feel left out or
looked down on.
Just try your best, try everything you can.
And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away.
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
Hey, you know they're all the same.
You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in.
Live right now.
Yeah, just be yourself.
It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else.
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
Hey, don't write yourself off yet.
It's only in your head you feel left out or
looked down on.
Just do your best, do everything you can.
And don't you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say.
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).

 

Over You by Daughtry

Now that it’s all said and done, I can’t believe you were the one
To build me up and tear me down like an old abandoned house
What you said when you left, just left me cold and out of breath
I felt if I was in way to deep, guess I let you get the best of me

Well, I never saw it coming, I should have started running
A long, long time ago
And I never thought I’d doubt you, I’m better off without you
More than you, more than you know

I’m slowly getting closure, I guess it’s really over
I’m finally getting better
And now I’m picking up the pieces, spending all of these years
Putting my heart back together

'Cause the day I thought I’d never get through
I got over you

You took a hammer to these walls, dragged the memories down the hall
Packed your bags and walked away, there was nothing I could say
And when you slammed the front door shut, a lot of others opened up
So did my eyes so I could see that you never were the best for me

Well, I never saw it coming, I should have started running
A long, long time ago
And I never thought I’d doubt you, I’m better off without you
More than you, more than you know

I’m slowly getting closure, I guess it’s really over
I’m finally getting better
And now I’m picking up the pieces, spending all of these years
Putting my heart back together

'Cause the day I thought I’d never get through
I got over you

Well, I never saw it coming, I should have started running
A long, long time ago
And I never thought I’d doubt you, I’m better off without you
More than you, more than you know

Well, I never saw it coming, I should have started running
A long, long time ago
And I never thought I’d doubt you, I’m better off without you
More than you, more than you know

I’m slowly getting closure, I guess it’s really over
I’m finally getting better
And ow I’m picking up the pieces, spending all of these years
Putting my heart back together

Well, I'm putting my heart back together
'Cause I got over you and I got over you
And I got over you

'Cause the day I thought I’d never get through
I got over you

 


 
 

The following is a Word document.  I can't figure out how to post it with all the nice tables, but here's my basic format:

 

Song title:______________________________ Name: _______________________


Artist or author:_________________________________      

Analyze four lines from the poem/song:
Quote:                                                                            Paraphrase (in your own words):

   

   

   

   


  Identify the following:            Interpret:
                                    (What does it mean?)
Title:

   



Metaphors, similes, figures of speech:

   



Imagery:


   

Analyze the theme—what is the author trying to say?




What is the dramatic situation in the poem or song?




If it is a song, comment on the musical aspects:




If it is a poem, comment on the illustrations chose to accompany it:



One the back, draw a picture illustrating
 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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