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Creativity and Poetry. Alicia M. Bonelli. Objective. Using Pablo Neruda’s “Oda al Tomate” in addition to several classroom activities, students will learn to engage their creativity while studying important aspects of Spanish poetry and language. . Step 1.

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Creativity and Poetry

Alicia M. Bonelli

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Objective

Using Pablo Neruda’s “Oda al Tomate” in addition to several classroom activities, students will learn to engage their creativity while studying important aspects of Spanish poetry and language.

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Step 1

Each group will receive one fruit or vegetable. Your group’s task is to describe the item according to such traits as color, texture, shape, aroma, and taste. Observations should be recorded on a chart.

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Step 2

Collect and record the observations made by each group for each different item. Place this master chart on the board. Topics of discussion for the class include: appropriate vocabulary, adjective endings, and spelling

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Examples

  • Vocabulary: “rico” instead of “bueno”
  • Adjective Endings: “la manzana roja” instead of “la manzana rojo”
  • Spelling: “pimiento” instead of “pimento”
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Step 3

I will now read Pablo Neruda’s “Oda al Tomate” out loud to the class. Follow along on your worksheets.

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“Oda al Tomate”

La calle

se llenó de tomates,

mediodía,

verano,

la luz

se parte

en dos

mitades

de tomate,

corre

porlascalles

el jugo.

En diciembre

se desata

el tomate,

invade

lascocinas,

entrapor los almuerzos,

se sienta

reposado

en los aparadores,

entre los vasos,

lasmantequilleras,

los salerosazules.

Tiene

luzpropia,

majestadbenigna.

Debemos, pordesgracia,

asesinarlo:

se hunde

el cuchillo

en supulpaviviente,

en unaroja

víscera,

un sol

fresco,

profundo,

inagotable,

llena de ensaladas

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“Oda al Tomate”

de Chile,

se casa alegremente

con la claracebolla,

y paracelebrarlo

se deja

caer

aceite,

hijo

esencial del olivo,

sobresushemisferiosentreabiertos,

agrega

la pimienta

sufragancia,

la salsumagnetismo:

son lasbodas

del día,

el perejil

levanta

banderines,

las papas

hiervenvigorosamente

el asado

golpea

con su aroma

en la puerta,

eshora!

vamos!

y sobre

la mesa, en la cintura

del verano,

el tomate,

astro de tierra,

estrella

repetida

y fecunda,

nosmuestra

suscircunvoluciones,

suscanales,

la insigne plenitud

y la abundancia

sin hueso,

sin coraza,

sin escamasniespinas,

nosentrega

el regalo

de su color fogoso

y la totalidad de sufrescura.

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Step 4

We will now analyze the poem as a class. Topics of analysis include: sentences, figurative language, and especially personification.

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Examples

  • Sentences: How many are there in the poem?
  • Four
  • Figurative Language: Why would the street be filled with tomatoes?
  • The street could be the location of a farmers’ market.
  • Personification: What is personification? Give examples from the poem.
  • The attribution of human characteristics to something non-human. For example, the barbecue's aroma “knocked” at the door.
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Step 5

As a homework assignment, you must make a creative interpretation of the poem. Examples include: drawings, comics, skits, and videos.

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Step 6

Your group’s final task is to write an original ode. Guidelines will be provided to facilitate the group’s work. The odes will be read aloud to the class.

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Other Applications

  • Poems
  • Short stories
  • Songs
  • Films
  • Art
  • Media
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Bibliography

  • García Lorca, Francisco, and Donald M. Allen. The Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca. New York: New Directions, 1961.
  • Neruda, Pablo. Odas elementales. Ed. Jaime Concha. Madrid, Spain: Catedra, 2003.
  • Oliver, Mary. A Poetry Handbook. Orlando, Florida: Harcourt, 1994.