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ELSEWHERE by Derek Walcott

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Karla Landaeta

on 16 May 2014

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Transcript of ELSEWHERE by Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, bringing Caribbean literature to international attention.
Born in St. Lucia, West Indies (1930- )
Black, Dutch, and English descent
Author of dozens of books (poems, essays, plays).
He has incorporaed Shakespearean and Biblical beauty with rich Caribbean rhythms.
Author's information
Class Plan characteristics
Centro Venezolano Americano

Students' level:

Young adults, male and female, around 15 students

90 minutes

Previous knowledge:
Basic aspects of poetry

General features of the poem
Warm up
Teacher will elicit a conversation about the process of colonization in America.

Students will talk about the events of colonization they know.

Teacher will ask the students about their perception of these historical facts.
Why do you think this happened?
Do you think it was violent?
What is the result of these events?

Teacher will show images of slaves / poverty vs. wealth.


Applying literature in and EFL context by means of the poem ELSEWHERE
by Derek Walcott
Caracas, May 2014

Elaborated by Angel E. Bello and Karla Landaeta.

(For Stephen Spender)

Somewhere a white horse gallops with its mane
plunging round a field whose sticks
are ringed with barbed wire, and men
break stones or bind straw into ricks.

Somewhere women tire of the shawled sea's
weeping, for the fishermen's dories
still go out. It is blue as peace.
Somewhere they're tired of torture stories.

That somewhere there was an arrest.
Somewhere there was a small harvest
of bodies in the truck.p Soldiers rest
somewhere by a road, or smoke in a forest.

Somewhere there is the conference rage
at an outrage.p Somewhere a page
is torn out, and somehow the foliage
no longer looks like leaves but camouflage.

Somewhere there is a comrade,
a writer lying with his eyes wide open
on mattress ticking, who will not read
this, or write. How to make a pen?

And here we are free for a while, but
elsewhere, in one-third, or one-seventh
of this planet, a summary rifle butt
breaks a skull into the idea of a heaven

where nothing is free, where blue air
is paper-frail, and whatever we write
will be stamped twice, a blue letter,
its throat slit by the paper knife of the state.

Through these black bars
hollowed faces stare. Fingers
grip the cross bars of these stanzas
and it is here, because somewhere else

their stares fog into oblivion
thinly, like the faceless numbers
that bewilder you in your telephone
diary. Like last year's massacres.

The world is blameless. The darker crime
is to make a career of conscience,
to feel through our own nerves the silent scream
of winter branches, wonders read as signs.
“Either I’m a nobody, or I’m a nation,”
Class Plan
Uses literature to explore themes of ethnicity, cultural chauvinism, and political inequality.
Examines these subjects in a manner that leads to psychological and moral insights.
Subject matter/topic
Injustice, different perceptions of reality (depending on the context)

Main idea
Showing the diffrerences between Caribbean Iselands and the Western Civilization

Grammatical person: 3rd person plural
Objectivity: Subjective
Participation: Yes
Mental access: No

Point of view:
It might the the author's own point of view. An afro-descendant man, shwing his own perspective of that 'elsewhere'.

(age, gender,social status,race): It is addressed to Stephen Spender, a friend of the author. But receivers might be people from all over the world.

: Unfair, sad, hopeless

To raise awarness about other people's lifestyle. Specifically, people from the Caribbeans

Time: 15min
Resources: Pictures slavery / colonization / poverty
Interaction: Teacher - Students
Seating: Circle
Skill: Speaking

Class Plan

Teacher will introduce ‘Elsewhere’ by Derek Walcott to the class.

T will talk about the
author's life.

T will make Ss guess what the poem is about (just by reading the

T will read the poem out loud and then give the students time to read it by themselves.

Ss write down the new words they find in the poem.

T will ask students if there is any doubt regarding
meaning of a word.
E.g. Words as ‘foliage’ or ‘comrade’ might be unfamiliar to them.

T will devote some time to the meaning of these words within the text.

Time: 10 min
Skill: Speaking/Listening
Interaction: Teacher - Students
Seating: Horseshoe shape
Copies of ‘Elsewhere’ by Derek Walcott.

It would be a good idea to use
a video beam with the poem,
so students can have a better
look at it.

Class Plan
Class Plan
Production and Comprehension check

T will ask the students to form groups of three for the next activity.

Each team will receive two stanzas of the poem.
Ss are to infer the meaning of specific words (what the author meant by choosing them). E.g. The women, the soldiers, oblivion.

T will explain what an
allusion and a stereotype
in literature is.

T will ask students if those features are allusions to something else or if they represent a stereotype of certain society.

T will ask students if they think that the author's life is related somehow to the ideas of the poem.
Time: 25min
Interaction: Teacher - Students
Seating: Horseshoe shape
Resources: Stanzas of the poem (separated)

The next activity is a debate.

T will split the class in two and each half will discuss an aspect of the poem.
Cultural values and colonization.
Influence of foreign cultures.
Differences between Caribbean and western societies / countries.
Importance of the author's life regarding the poem.

After they discuss, they will present their results or ideas to the rest of the class.

Ss are meant to agree or not with other’s ideas and justify the reasons why.

Time: 25min
Skill: Speaking
Interaction: Students - Students
Seating: Two teams.
Pieces of paper, pencils

Depending on the group, they could give their team a name and turn it into a sort-of competition

Class Plan
Wrap up

T will ask students about how they felt during the different activities in the class.

T will ask Ss to compare the reality shown in the poem and their own.

T will lead students to recap what they learnt by asking them questions:

-Did you learn something new today? What was it?
-In which other areas can be useful what you just learnt?

Ss will answer the questions, expressing how they felt during their performance and the class.

Ss will propose new areas where the use of the new content could be helpful.

Time: 15 minutes
Skill: Speaking-Listening
Interaction: Teacher - Student
Seating: Horseshoe shape

Class Plan characteristics

-To be able to state cultural values based on the poem Elsewhere by Derek Walcott.
-To be able to compare cultural differences between
-To be able to establish a relation between the author's life and the poem.
-To encourage critical thinking/enhance communication. (by means of the previous ones)

Elsewhere, foliage, comrade, stanzas, harvest, oblivion, shawled, dories.

Images, flashcards, copies of the poem, video beam.

Possible problems:
Unknown words
More time needed
It may take some time stating the topic of the poem.

Thank you!
• Mythological: “The recurrent universal patterns underlying most literary works.” Combining the insights from anthropology, psychology, history, and religion. Archetypes, stereotypes.

• Biographical: “Literature is written by actual people and understanding the author’s life can help readers to comprehend the work more thoroughly".
Full transcript