Tag Archives: attitudes

Life in Our Village

“Life in Our Village” by Matei Markwei is an easily understood, childlike , loosely rhyming poem, that expresses a universal truth about youthful love.

Discussion Questions:

What is the universal truth in “Life in Our Village”?

  • Boys and girls will do what comes naturally; love cannot be forbidden or exiled.

What techniques does the poet use to articulate this theme?(give examples)

  • repetition
  • understatement
  • parallel structure

Can adults forbid love from blossoming in the young?

Is humanity weak?

Is it strong to resist love?

To what extent do you see similarities between the attitudes and behaviours expressed in this poem, and those with which you are personally familiar?

What do you like about this poem?

What do you dislike?

“Life in Our Village” by Matei Markwei
In our village
When elders are around,
Boys must not look at girls
And Girls must not look at boys
Because the elder say
That is not good.

Even when night comes
Boys must play separately,
Girls must play separately.
But humanity is weak
So boys and girls meet.

The boys play hide and seek
And the girls play hide and seek.
The boys know where the girls hide
And the girls know where the boys hide –
So in their hide and seek,
Boys seek girls
Girls seek boys,
And each to each sing
Songs of love.

Injustice in Film

Justice seems to have many faces
It does not want to play if my skin is not the right hue,
Or correct the wrong we long for
Action hanging off-balance
Justice is like an open field
We observe, but are afraid to approach.

We have been burned before
Hence the broken stride
And the lingering doubt
We often hide

Justice may want to play
If we have an open smile
And offer the hand of communication
To make it worthwhile

Justice has to make me see
Hear, feel.
Then I wil know the truth is like a toy
To be enjoyed or broken — Poem by Rita Joe

View a film that addresses the theme of injustice. In what ways are the character’s attitudes to injustice similar to, or different from, the attitude presented in the poem? How do the charactersdemonstrate their attitudes?