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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’

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speed dating each of you have a line from a poem find your ideal match
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’
  • ‘And the two scavengers up since four a.m.’
  • ‘The older of the two with grey iron hair                         and hunched back’
  • ‘And both scavengers gazing down’
  •       ‘as if they were watching some odorless TV ad’
  •  ‘And the very red light for an instant’
  •    ‘as if anything at all were possible                                   between them’
  •   ‘with two garbagemen in red plastic blazers’
  • ‘an elegant open Mercedes      with an elegant couple in it’
  •          ‘with shoulder-length blond hair & sunglasses’
  •   ‘with a short skirt and colored stockings’
  • ‘grungy from their route          on the way home’
  • ‘looking down like some                gargoyle Quasimodo’
  •      ‘as from a great distance               at the cool couple’
  •                ‘in which everything is always possible’
  •               ‘holding all four close together’
  •        ‘across that small gulf                     in the high seas                                   of this democracy’
the american dream
The American Dream

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.

draw the scene what is the time frame the poem covers
Draw the scene What is the time frame the poem covers?

Why might the time frame be significant?


What is at the ‘heart of the matter’? (The core idea/message of the poem)

  • Which lines represent this idea?
  • (Think/ pair/share)

‘across that small gulf

in the high seas

of this democracy’

the poet lawrence ferlinghetti
The Poet – Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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 i like strawberry lollipops interpretation language structure links personal response
Consider ‘I Like Strawberry LolliPops’ (Interpretation, Language, Structure, Links, Personal Response)
  • What is your interpretation of the ideas portrayed within the poem?
  • Ask questions of the language Ferlinghetti uses. Is it specific to a particular place?
  • Explore the structure of the poem – how could you describe the way it looks? Turn the poem on it’s side. What comments could be made about punctuation?
  • What links could be drawn across various lines within the poem? Do certain lines develop or repeat earlier ideas?
  • What are your feelings about the ideas that are dealt with in the poem? What do you think Ferlinghetti was trying to do when he wrote the poem? Do you like the poem? Why/ why not?
Now you will create your own movie montage in pairs. You will need to provide an explanation of decisions you have made to the class.

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

homework make a plan in your exercise book
Homework – make a plan in your exercise book
  • Plan the three core elements of your movie:
  • How many lines from the poem will you use? Will you go through all the lines or just key ones that get to ‘the heart of the matter’?
  • What images will you use? Still photographs/ moving images/ a combination of both?
  • What music will you use? Will you select a song with lyrics? Are lyrics important? Consider pace and tempo. Could silence be useful in places? Are there changes in the poem that could be brought out in the music?
  • Will you record yourselves analysing the poem on key lines?

Considering Criterion A – Receptive and Productive

  • Understand and analyse language, content, structure and author’s intention in a range of oral and visual texts.
  • Compare and contrast, connecting themes and ideas within the poem, possibly debating these.
    • Can you compare ideas to ‘Blessing’?
    • Can you draw on your own local culture?
    • Can you begin to address the MYP unit question: Is all culture local?
  • Considering Criterion B – Organisation
  • Organise ideas and arguments in a logical manner
  • Exploring ideas using specific poetic language and analysing poetry for a combination of: interpretation; language; structure; links; personal response (assisted by looking under the magnifying glass at: associations; connotations; sounds; language; links; overall effect)