14 September 2011

Now Featuring Poetry!

A non-running related post.

Sort of.

I do a different sort of running at work.  I am constantly craving and constantly chasing ways to instruct better.

I'm tired of the same tired writing assignment which are easily faked and terribly predictable.  I'm lucky to belong to a network of writing teachers who love to share their best practices with one another.  This summer during the UC Merced Writing Project, I was fortunate to meet an elementary school teacher who presented her best practice on free verse poetry.

So in an effort to challenge myself and mis estudiantes, we will be writing poems that are crafted in order to help teach others a particular rhetorical or literary concept.

  • I wrote an example for zeugma below.  
  • I've never thought so much about zeugma before. 
  • I understand zeugma in a new way. 

I hope that my students will find that this way of writing to learn is powerful and memorable.

Please comment if you felt you learned what zeugma is from my poem.  Please comment and make this blogger feel like there is someone out there.


O! Efficient multi-tasking zeugma,
You don’t waste words.
One verb bonds to two different nouns.
One word governing two.

Zeugma lets one word show its
figurative and its literal
Zeugma allows a newspaper
            flying through the air
to break window panes
            and the morning’s peace. 

Zeugma reveals the multiple
            meanings of certain words
because you can blow
your nose,
a fuse,
            and three circuit breakers. 

Zeugma reveals
the corners of words.
Instruction shines
through those bonded words.
For a woman can arrive in a taxi
            and in a flaming rage.
Taxi and emotions are both
            and vessels.

Zeugma can also pull back
When the woman throws
            her ring
                                    her security
into the river.
We know that the ring is more
than a ring.  

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