Tag Archives: poem

Laura Secord

Laura Secord a poem by Raymond Souster
Lady, long part of our history
would you perhaps have been so eager
that time to drive those silly cows
before you through the forest mile after mile,
risking who knows what indignities
at the hands of the invaders,

had you known you would end up
on the box for a brand
of over-sweet chocolates?

From The War of 1812 to this?

I. Respond to the Poem

  1. During the War of 1812, Laura Secord saved a British garrison from American attack. Do some research on Laura Secord and compare what you find out to what is revealed in the poem.
  2. There are two parts to this poem. Why do you think the author divided the poem this way?
  3. The poem is written as one long question. What question is Raymond Souster asking?
  4. What do you think he is saying about heroes and heroic deeds?

II. Write a letter
As Laura Secord write a letter to Frank P. O’Connor, the founder of the Laura Secord Company.

Legacy

Write your own poem to honour an ancestor.

You could use the person’s name and relationship to you as the first line of the poem. On the next line, write two adjectives to describe him or her, what he or she did, and a short description of the person’s desires, fears, and loves on following lines.

Use the following poem as a model.

Marcel Lévesque, great-uncle
Brave, adventurous sailor
Wanted to marry a Spanish lady
Feared he would be sent home to Gaspé
Loved his señiorita forever

As in the Beginning

“As in the Beginning” by Mary di Michele is a grimly realistic retelling of events that express regret, anger and bitterness.

Theme:

A person’s loss of limb can never be adequately recompensed with money; when someone we love is injured, his/her pain can become ours.

Techniques:

  • parallel structure
  • simile
  • alliteration
  • personification
  • understatement

Issues:

What makes us whole?

Why does the speaker describe the “man” so objectively in the first nine lines of the poem.

How does the tone of the poem change after the first nine lines?

To what extent does the speaker understate or overstate the emotions associated with his/her father’s situation?

Which lines or phrases do you think express what the speaker is feeling most powerfully? What do these lines convey to them?

What is the significance of the title?

“As in the Beginning” by Mary di Michele
A man has two hands and when one
gets caught on the belt and his fingers
are amputated and then patched
he cannot work. His hands are insured
however so he gets some money
for the work his hands have done before.
If he loses a finger he gets a flat sum
of $250 for each digit &/or $100 for a joint
missing for the rest of his stay on earth,
like an empty stool at a beggar’s banquet.
When the hands are my father’s hands
it makes me cry although my pen must keep scratching
its head across the page of another night.
To you my father is a stranger
and perhaps you think the insurance paid is enough.

Give me my father’s hands when they are not broken
and swollen,
give me my father’s hands, young again,
and holding the hands of my mother,
give me my father’s hands still brown and uncallused,
beautiful hands that broke bread for us at table,
hands smooth as marble and naked as the morning,
give me hands without a number tattooed at the wrist,
without the copper sweat of clinging change,
give my father’s hands as they were in the beginning,
whole,
open,
warm
and without fear