Teresa González-Lee
   
       
 

INTRO: TEACHING/LEARNING AN
INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE WITH POETRY

What I am like / Lo que soy

   
       
 

This poem can be used like a springboard to teach Spanish or other International Language on the theme of Personal or Cultural Identities.

   
 

A). For Beginners:

I. When teaching or learning simple comparatives in grammar you may link the description of students’ personalities or
Self-Portraits with Poetry.

Have students write LISTS comparing themselves to:

characters/people..
cities/geographical features..
things/art forms etc
.

relevant to the Hispanic cultures.

This way, Beginners will creatively apply their learning of Spanish grammar and culture to some of the basic concepts of poetry such as the creation of images, similes and metaphors.

Examples:
I am like... (a character) "soy como Frida Kahlo" (simile)
I am like... (a city/geographical feature) "soy como un
      río (river) " (simile)
I am Latin music... (an art form/thing) "Soy la
      música latina" (metaphor)

II. Continue with a line giving a reason for the comparison by using: porque + an adjective.

Examples:
"Soy como el azúcar porque es dulce "
"Soy como el río porque es tranquilo"
"Soy como la música latina porque soy feliz"

III. ) Proceed with porque + various verbs at the beginning levels:

Examples:
"Soy como Frida Kahlo
porque me gusta
pintar la vida"


"Soy la Ciudad de Guatemala
porque tengo
arquitectura y color"

"Soy como el mar
porque en las olas
prefiero brincar,
correr, nadar."

B). For Intermediate or more Advanced students:

I. You may use my poems “Lo que soy”/”What I am like” with the following:
Strategies for Reading Poetry for the Pleasure of Speaking in Other Languages

Use three strategies for reading poetry....
Practice with a reading partner:

1. Read aloud once, focusing only on
     pronunciation and sound.
    (Phonetic stage)

2. Read a second time, taking turns, concentrating on new
     vocabulary and a few grammatical points.
     (Analytical stage)

3. Read a third time trying to figure out meaning...
     What does the poem say; How does it apply to me?
     (Critical thinking / Personalizing stage)


 
       
 
Click here to download an audio version of the poem
   
       
 

What I am like

   
 

I am like.... sugar
I always want to sip
from the sweet marrow of life.

At times I resemble the sea
in the desire to push my limits.

In the moonlight eves, I dress
with the foglike veil of the moon
and I gaze down to Earth
from all my changing phases.

Since I ‘ve always pursued to unravel
the mystery in the chambers of my soul
I am Machu Picchu
the city I mystically long for.

Most of all                   above all
I’d like to be
a flower
to mesmerize Miss Spring
cuz she knows, cuz she owns
the secret codes in the languages of bees.

 
       
 

Lo que soy

   
 

Soy ...como el azúcar
y siempre quiero chupar
de la médula dulce de la vida.
A ratos me parezco al mar
en las ganas de empujar mis límites.

En las noches de clarilunio
me visto con el velo en neblina de la luna
y miro al mundo
desde mis perfiles menguantes.

Y como siempre encuentro
moradas del alma por descubrir en mí
soy Machu Picchu,
ciudad de mística añoranza

Más que todo,
más que nada...
quisiera ser aquella
flor
que mesmeriza a la
señorita primavera
porque conoce, porque posee
el código secreto de las abejas

 

 
  Copyright © 2006 Teresa Gonzalez-Lee. All rights reserved.