English 12 Poetry Pairings – Example

For my poetry pairing, I chose “Farewell” by Isapo-Muxika (Crowfoot) and the This I Believe essay, “There is more to my Life than my Life” by Jamaica Ritcher. The poem, the essay and the image conceptually came together for me in that life is momentary and fragile, but if we chose to see, intensely beautiful. The images from the metaphors are powerful. They reveal the shortness of time, the beauty of the moment, and they question where we come from and where we go; however, there is no sadness or despair in the poem. Rather, the simplicity that life is meant to be savoured is evident. Ritcher also reveals this sentiment in her essay, which is about teaching her daughter about death:
“After a weighty pause I tell my daughter that Martin (the cat) is out in the field. I tell her that when animals, including people, die, they are usually put into the ground and that their bodies become the grasses, flowers and trees. I pass my hand over Maia’s blonde curls, gently touch a rosy cheek and check her reaction. She appears untroubled. She seems thrilled by the thought of one day becoming a flower.” Ritcher goes on with this comforting insight: “I am not the lonely human, plunked down on earth to aimlessly wander. I am a part of that earth and not going anywhere — just like the spider up in the corner, the dust on the sill and the cat I buried in the backyard.” The poem also explores being part of something with the line of the “shadow… running across the grass” to return to the larger shadow and “lose itself in the sunset.” We are part of the whole and the beauty of that is revealed in the essay and the poem, and in the dancing lights in the image. But if we are too distracted, we won’t see it.


A little while


I will be gone from among you,

whither I cannot tell.

From nowhere we come;

into nowhere we go.

What is life?

It is  a flash of a firefly

in the night.

It is a breath of a buffalo

in the winter time.

It is the little shadow

that runs across the grass

and loses itself in the sunset.

Blackout Poetry

Kathy Shong’s poem ‘Love in the Wild’ is inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The poem was ‘found’ on page 12 of the novel The Hunger Games. It explores how love when it is controlled, or has restrictions or rules, is destroyed; it “sits with hunched shoulders”, defeated. Love, here, has been personified. Love’s full potential, however, can be realized if we don’t try to define it or measure it. Freedom to live and love as purely as possible is symbolized by “reaching” the “woods” and the “wild.” The woods, of course, being the place of love, magic and imagination in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Love in the Wild

by Kathy Shong



Thursday, December 6


  • Section #6 due for bonus marked discussion tomorrow
  • Review the documents for the project and the essay
  • Steps for the essay:
    1. read over the document
    2. decide which issue/s interest you the most
    3. read/use the resources on the blog and the Summative Notes
    4. go back to the presentations and the template of parallels to see if anything there helps you
    5. complete your prospective
    6. begin a draft
    7. read over the sample student essay
    8. get an editor for your paper
    9. USE MLA with your final draft (instruction last week)
    10. finish your paper – hand in: edited draft, good copy, work cited