Poetry

Lesson 10

Objective

Identify and explain how the poet develops the theme.

Readings and Materials

Target Task

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Question 1

Read the poem “Moments” by Mary Oliver to answer the questions below. 

Jorge Luis Borges and Mary Oliver are two poets from different parts of the world writing in different time periods, and yet, they write about a similar theme in their poems “Instants” and “Moments.” What theme can you draw from both poems? 

A.

Don’t go anywhere without being prepared.

B.

Be careful whom you trust.

C.

Make sure you have a healthy life style.

D.

Live life to the fullest every day. 

Which two details best support the answer above?

A.

“There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled (Oliver, line 1)

B.

“Or giving your money away, all of it (Oliver, line 3)

C.

“There is nothing more pathetic than caution” (Oliver, line 6)

D.

“Don’t lose the now!” (Borges, line 24)

E.

“I was one of those people who live prudent and prolific lives” (Borges, lines 18–19)

F.

“I was one of those who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer” (Borges, lines 25–26)

Question 2

Explain how Borges and Oliver develop the same theme using different poetic devices. Make sure to use details from the text to support your answer. 

Key Questions

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Read Jorge Luis Borges’s poem, “You Learn.” 

  • Which line resonates with you? Explain your answer. 
  • What thematic statement can you draw from “You Learn” by Jorge Luis Borges? Which diction makes you think that?
  • What literary devices does the poet use to develop his theme?

Read “Instants” by Jorge Luis Borges. 

  • Which line resonates with you? Explain your answer. 
  • What theme can you draw from Jorge Luis Borges? Make sure to include details from the text in your answer. 
  • What literary devices does the poet use to develop his theme?
  • Jorge Luis Borges wrote his poems in Spanish. See “Aprendiendo” and “Instantes.” Do you think a poem loses its meaning when it is translated into another language? Explain your answer. 

Vocabulary

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subtle

Notes

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This lesson connects with a unit test question.

Common Core Standards

  • RL.6.2 — Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.