For this exercise, we are practicing our use of metaphors.
Start by reading the poem above. Notice two things: the author uses very overt metaphors (no similes) and the author uses a very simple rhyme scheme and repetition.
Then, do the following SIX things:
Spend one minute listing abstract ideas you think about when you hear the question, “What is an American?,” “what is America?,” or, more generally, “what is home?” You may be as positive or negative as you wish! If you are struggling with this prompt, you can go with any topic you wish–i.e. family, love, dreams.
Now choose a few ideas and brainstorm concrete objects that could metaphorically represent this idea (i.e. a flag represents patriotism–“America is a flagging waving in the wind”). You want think about what your overall theme is going to be—notice how Bilston uses positive metaphors for countries other than America? All these metaphors relate to positive cultural associations these countries have while America is linked to a negative object (at least in Bilston’s usage).
Write a poem using these metaphors—try organizing your poem using your different topics for stanzas—so stanza one could be about patriotism and have a few metaphors about that idea. The second stanza would move onto another abstract concept.
Post your poem to this Discussion Forum! Don’t worry if it’s bad! I just want you to try your hand here. (this is worth 1 mark)