A Valentine's Poem that's not mushy! "This Year's Valentin"e is a poem with vivid description, ample images, and effective use of alliteration. Teen students appreciate the lack of over-the-top romance that they sometimes find in other Valentine's Day or love poetry, and that the poem balances romance with a purposeful, real-life experience.
NO PREP - except for downloading the poem and copying handouts for your students.
The poem has an interesting backstory: In 2003 as American forces prepared to invade Iraq, poets began a resistance movement using poetry as their weapon. The Poets Against The War website was inundated with contributions from around the world, and before long, 13,000 poems filled its pages. Philip Appleman supported the resistance movement and his poem "This Year's Valentine" neatly fit a major theme of the month of the buildup: Valentine’s Day. This poem, despite its surprising content, is a joy to teach since students find the descriptions and stark contrasts refreshing, and, as one of my teen students put it, “Not that typical overly mushy love stuff that makes me want to gag.” (Students are so brutally honest, aren't they?) Additionally, the poem allows you to show students that creative voices have the capability to produce unity among those who support a common cause and that those combined voices can, perhaps, effect change.
• Teacher's Guide: Thorough, 2 pages; includes a link to the poem that you will need to download - Easy to do!
• Close reading and Poetry Analysis handouts for students - 4 pages
• Constructed Response
• Objective Summary
• Complete Answer Keys!
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