Thursday, April 03, 2014

Our Wonderful World.3

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.


Broken soup bowl,
tarnished crown,
gaping eyeholes,
center of town.

Shaken, crumbled,
still you stand.
By history humbled,
yet you're grand.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Carol Varsalona has a Colosseum poem for today on Notegraphy. Kevin's Colosseum Fibonacci poem showcases HaikuDeck.

Carol's poem from yesterday about Stonehenge is at Carol's Corner.

Kevin wrote a Stonehenge poem in Notegraphy yesterday. (I can't wait to give this app/website a try!)

It was in my plans for us to write similes and metaphors about the Colosseum as a possible way into our poems. Good thing I tried that before I had my students do it -- I learned that you can't write much when you know next to nothing about your topic.  (DUH.) So we started with some quick research.

Bless you, KR. I knew I was ready to pull them all back together for some brainstorming when K said aloud, "I wonder how much cereal it would hold? It looks like a bowl!" We had our first simile.

Then, as they fed me facts they had learned, we worked together to bend them into similes or metaphors. Here's we came up with:

•The colosseum is a bowl. How much cereal would it hold?
FACT: It is big.
•It is as big as the moon. (Nice example of hyperbole!)

FACT: It is old, made in 70 AD.
•The Colosseum is nearly as old as the Pyramid of Giza. (We had a good conversation about why this isn't a simile. It is simply stating how old the Colosseum is. And it's not even true. The pyramid is WAY older.)

•My teacher is nearly as old as the colosseum. (Now that we're comparing two unlike things, we have a simile. And hyperbole, please!!)

•The colosseum is like a crown on a princess’ head. (Simile)

•The colosseum is a crown. (Simile transformed into a metaphor)

FACT: It's made of concrete and stone.

•The Colosseum is as sturdy as the tree branch Ry climbed on. (We wanted a simile that compared the Colosseum to something that really wasn't so sturdy, since it is falling apart. Our read aloud is AS EASY AS FALLING OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH, and Ry is the main character. You can probably guess what happened to the tree branch he climbed on!)

FACT: 500,000 people were killed and over a million animals were killed there.

•The colosseum is a graveyard.


  1. Mine, on Haiku Deck.

  2. Love your explanation today, Mary Lee, & while I thought I knew something about it, I didn't know those horrific numbers you shared at the end. I wonder at the need for such violence. I like the brief stating of the metaphors.

  3. This brought back memories of an anniversary trip to Italy years ago. The Colosseum is amazing. I love hearing about your class research and the work on metaphor and simile. I recommend Laura Purdie Salas' Riddle-Ku for quick work on metaphor.

  4. Hahaha - "my teacher is nearly as old as..." Yeah, that's some hyperbole, all right. But, how much do I LOVE that "broken soup bowl" resides next to "tarnished crown"? Those are the BEST contrasts - so lovely are the layers of this piece..

  5. I always love your poems. But I love the stories from your classroom almost as much. And I totally agree with you. It's hard to write a poem without first doing a little research.

    "The Colosseum"

    in this ancient amphitheater
    bloody power shows
    maimed and killed
    as unfeeling audience
    cheered madly

    the Colosseum
    is quiet now

    but these same
    bloody battles
    are waged
    in living rooms
    and locker rooms
    as unfeeling audience
    cheers madly

    (c) Carol Wilcox, 2014


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