Northern Drive to St Lucy

Northern Drive to St Lucy
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Comments on Wire Taps


This poem “Wire Taps” was composed at Rockley in the parish of
Christ Church, Barbados on September 13, 2007. It is written in the form of an Acrostic Mesostich.

When the first letters of the first word on each line of verse form a word or message relating to the subject or title an Acrostic poem is produced.

When the first letters of the middle word on each line of verse form the word or message relating to the subject or title a Mesostich poem is created.

Here are some guidelines to help you compose your first Acrostic Mesostich poem:

Firstly, make the decision as to what style you will write the Acrostic Mesostich; whether in the traditional form or in Free Verse

Select a title for the Acrostic Mesostich, preferably a dual title is much better, but a single title could work as well. Let’s say you selected the title “Good Luck”. Select Good for the Acrostic side of the poem and Luck for the Mesostich part of the poem. This procedure is shown on the map below, bearing in mind that the Mesostich starts at the middle-point of each line of verse in the poem.

Good Luck

Acrostic Side Mesostich side




If you decided on a single title for your Acrostic Mesostich poem, for example ”Fall” the procedural map looks like this


Acrostic Side Mesostich Side

F…………… f…………….



Start composing the lines of verses for the poem, now that you know where the starting points are for the Acrostic and Mesostich sides of the poem.

At the beginning of the first line of verse, begin with the first letter in the first word in the title (in this example, the title is “Good Luck”) the first word in the title is “Good” and the first letter is “G”. Continue on this line of verse until you reach the center point and begin that word with the first letter in the second word in the title (in this example, the title is “Good Luck”) the second word in the title is “Luck” and the first letter is “l”.

At the beginning of the second line of verse, begin with the second letter “o” in the first word in the title; at the center of this same line of verse, begin with the second letter “u” in the second word in the title.

At the beginning of the third line of verse, begin with the third letter “o” in the first word in the title; at the center of this same line of verse, begin with the third letter “c” in the second word in the title.

At the beginning of the fourth line of verse, begin with the fourth letter “d” in the first word in the title; at the center of this same line of verse, begin with the fourth letter “k” in the second word in the title.

You can follow this procedure for any title you have for your Acrostic Mesostich poem

Read your completed poem aloud, check for errors and correct any errors found.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Comments on "Venus goddess of love" poem

This poem “Venus goddess of love” is written in Open Form poetry (notice that the first letters on each line spell out the title of the poem). Open form poetry is really Free Verse. It looks like metered poetry at first glance. However, it does not conform to established patterns of meter, rhyme and stanza. It derives its rhythmic properties from the repetition of words, phrases or grammatical structures, the arrangement of words on the page, or by some other means.

The Twentieth century American poet E. E. Cummings is well known for writing Open Form poetry. Indeed, his poems do not have measurable meter, but they definitely have great rhythm. He experimented radically with structure, punctuation, spelling and syntax. As it were, he abandoned traditional techniques and created his highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression. His critics said of him that he settled into his signature style and did not bother to carry his work to the next evolutionary level. Be that as it may, Cummings’ simplistic poetic language, his playful mode and obsession with topics on war and sex continues to capture the poetic hearts of young readers. It is now forty-eight years since his death but his poetic style lives on.

In this open form poem the explicit meaning is about a love relationship. In addition this poem shows didactic threads covertly embedded. Secondary school educators will find many suitable teachable themes for their thematic lessons for the integrated curriculum. Examples of some of didactic threads extracted from the Venus goddess of love poem are shown below.

Poem: Venus goddess of love

Teachable Themes and Topics:

The Mythology of Venus
Religious festivals
Science fiction movies, novels

Solar Terrestrial Planets


NASA Missions
Venus Explorations:

Barbados Involvement in Space Projects
High Altitude Research Project- Harp
Space Research Corporation-SRC
Martlet projectiles

Important Personalities and events that affected the project
Dr Gerald Bull
Saddam Hussein
Vietnam War
South Africa under Apartheid
Israeli Mossad
1991 Gulf War
Iranian Vevak intelligence agency

Why Barbados ousted SRC from its shores?

Integrated Curriculum:
English Language
English Literature
Aerospace Technology Mathematics
Science (Aerodynamics and Ballistics)

The integrated curriculum is a philosophy of teaching in which content is drawn from several subject areas to focus on a particular topic or theme. Rather than studying mathematics or social studies in isolation, for example, a class might study a unit called The Ocean, using mathematics to calculate pressure at certain depths and social studies to understand why coastal and inland populations have different livelihoods. Effective interdisciplinary teaching includes the following elements:

A topic that lends itself to study from several points of view;

Two to five valuable themes (or essential questions) the teacher wants the students to explore;

An approach and activities to further students’ understanding more than is possible in a traditional, single-discipline unit.

Thematic instruction is the organization of a curriculum around macro “themes.” The thematic lesson integrates basic subjects (reading, math, and science) with the exploration of a broad topic, such as communities, forests, the use of energy, communication, water, transportation and so on.

The thematic lesson is based on the idea that students acquire knowledge best when learning in the context of a coherent “whole,” and when they can connect what they’re learning to the real world. The thematic lesson seeks to put the teaching of cognitive skills such as reading, mathematics, science, and writing in the context of a real-world subject that is both specific enough to be practical, and broad enough to allow creative exploration.

The thematic lesson usually occurs within an entire age-range (grade level) of students. Educators of all the different subjects taught in that particular age-range (grade) work together as a team to design the interdisciplinary curriculum, instruction methods, and assessment around a preselected theme. Typical procedures include:

Choosing a theme – Themes often involve a large, integrated system (such as a city, an ecosystem, and so on) or a broad concept (such as democracy, weather, and so on). Instructors often strive to connect the theme to the students’ everyday life

Designing the interdisciplinary curriculum – The educators involved must organize the learning objectives of their core curriculum (both process skills and content knowledge) around the theme. In the study of transportation, for instance, mathematics might involve calculating transportation costs; social studies could look at the nature of transportation; science might study computational transportation science like sensors and wireless devices; and literature could study books and novels that focus on transportation, such as the “Age of the Bicycle” by Charles Ashbacker, “Wagon Tracks” by Robert Harter.

Designing the instruction – This usually involves making changes to the class schedule, combining hours normally devoted to specific topics, organizing field trips, teaching in teams, bringing in outside experts, and so on.

Encouraging presentation and celebration – Because thematic instruction is often project-oriented, it frequently involves students giving collective presentations to the rest of the school or the community.

The thematic lesson can be a powerful tool for reintegrating the curriculum and eliminating the isolated, reductionist nature of teaching around disciplines rather than experience. It requires a lot of hard, initial design work, plus a substantial restructuring of teacher relationships and class schedules.

Hints on writing a didactic poem in Open Form

Now that you have read many poems written in open form, decide on what rules in traditional forms of poetry you plan to manipulate in the poem you will create. Think about a time where you were struck by a particular image: how you came upon that image; how that image made you feel; seeing the image, what flashed across your mind when you saw it? Select a title for that experience and decide on teachable thread you will weave into the poem.

Start composing your poem in open form. The Venus poem should serve as a model for writing your poem in open form.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Comments on Hurricane Preparedness Watch

This didactic poem “Hurricane Preparedness Watch” is made up of decasyllabic quatrains rhyming aabb. This is a term used for a poetic form in which each stanza consists of four lines of ten syllables each, usually with a rhyme schemes aabb. When the decasyllabic quatrain has a rhyme scheme abab, it is often referred to as the "heroic quatrain", "heroic stanza" or the "four-line stave". It came to prominence in the poem Nosce Te ipsum (know thyself) by Sir John Davies in 1599. The history of English Literature shows that the most common usage for the decasyllabic form had existed long before Davies's poems in the form of the heroic couplet, where two lines of iambic pentameter verses were composed with a rhyme scheme aabb.

Before writing came into general use, instruction was conveniently expressed in verse, as being more easily remembered than prose. The Greeks did not recognize didactic poetry as a separate literary genre; since it was written in hexameters they regarded it as a form of epic poetry. In Greece this kind of composition died out in the fifth century BC with the rise of prose literature, but was revived in the Hellenistic age. Didactic Poetry is intended to convey instruction and information in a "fun sort of way" while at the same time putting across a delicate or serious message. It can assume the mode and features of imaginative works by infusing knowledge in a variety of poetic forms where various poetic techniques, diction and style are infused to keep readers' interest from start to finish. There is the popular view that allegory, aphorisms, apologues, fables, gnomes and proverbs are specific types of Didactic Poetry because of their close affinity. When reading didactic poems, focus on the serious messages each conveys. However, bear in mind that every poem has a didactic thread either overly or covertly.

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Haiti Under Rubble from 7.0 Earthquake

Natural disasters whenever and wherever they occur impact on all of our lives. The Good Book says we are our brothers and sisters keepers lead by the Holy Spirit. Hence, we must do our part when disaster shows its ugly face. Any assistance, great or small, given from generous and loving hearts has equal weight. I'm passing on this information I received that Barbadians can go to First Caribbean Bank to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti. The banking information is shown below:

First Caribbean Bank Account--2645374-- Cheques can be written to: HELP #2645374

For more information click on this link

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti.

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