Two Beautiful people in a Truck , Two Scavengers in a Mercedes. Speed dating – each of you have a line from a poem…find your ideal match!. ‘a bright yellow garbage truck’ ‘and looking down into’ ‘The man in a hip three-piece linen suit’ ‘The young blond woman so casually coifed’
The “American dream” is the belief that the social, political and economic system makes success possible for every individual. In other words, the democracy of America means that freedom, equality and opportunity are available to all citizens who live there. If people work hard enough, there is nothing they cannot achieve.
Why might the time frame be significant?
‘across that small gulf
in the high seas
of this democracy’
Lawrence Ferlinghetti was born in New York in 1924 and came to prominence in the 1950s as one of the “Beat” poets. The “Beat” generation was a term used to describe people who felt “beaten down” by the uncertainties of World War II and the devastation of the atomic bomb. They had to make sense of the world without relying on the certainties of previous generations.
Ferlinghetti was one of the more politically minded of the Beats and has been constantly active on the behalf of liberal causes
Ferlinghetti’s poem questions this belief by contrasting the garbagemen with the beautiful couple. It is unlikely that the garbagemen were given the opportunity to study as architects but decided to clean up rubbish instead. It will also be very difficult for them to rise very far in their profession, no matter how hard they work.
Consider carefully the images you will use – literal/ figurative/ both?
How will you use music? Will you emphasize certain lyrics?
How will you use lines from the text? Will you use all lines or just significant ones?
For extra challenge, draw on significant American history at the time the poem was written. Can you draw on your own local Hong Kong Culture? Be sensitive to stereotypes.
Plan first – discuss with peers and teacher