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Tia Chucha

poetry lesson
by

Jacob Loew

on 8 April 2011

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Transcript of Tia Chucha

Tia Chucha A Poem By: Luis Rodriguez Every few years Tia Chucha would visit the family
in a tornado of song and open us up
as if we were an overripe avocado.
She was a dumpy, black-haired
creature of upheaval who often came unannounced
with a bag of presents, including homemade
perfumes and colognes that smelled something like
rotting fish on a hot day at the tuna cannery.


They said she was crazy. Oh sure, she once ran out naked
to catch the postman with a letter that didn't belong to us.
I mean, she had this annoying habit of boarding city buses
and singing at the top of her voice—one bus driver
even refused to go on until she got off.


But crazy?
To me, she was the wisp of the wind's freedom,
a music-maker who once tried to teach me guitar
but ended up singing and singing,
me listening, and her singing
until I put the instrument down
and watched the clock click the lesson time away.


I didn't learn guitar, but I learned something
about her craving for the new, the unbroken,
so she could break it. Periodically she banished herself
from the family—and was the better for it. I secretly admired Tia Chucha.
She was always quick with a story,
another "Pepito" joke or a hand-written lyric
that she would produce regardless of the occasion.


She was a despot of desire,
uncontainable as a splash of water
on a varnished table.
I wanted to remove the layers
of unnatural seeing,
the way Tia Chucha beheld
the world, with first eyes,
like an infant who can discern
the elixir within milk.


I wanted to be one of the prizes
she stuffed into her rumpled bag. Imagery: is using an image in writing; an image, in its basic sense, is something concrete that appeals to any of the five senses - sight, sound, touch, taste, smell - as well as metaphor, simile, and personification. Define imagery in your own words on the back of the paper we passed out. Luis Rodriguez was born on the U.S./mexico border on January 14, 1954. At age two his family moved to the Los Angeles area. At age seven he started stealing and at age 11 he became active in the local street gangs. He started using drugs at age 12 and dropped out of school at age 15. From the ages of 13 to 18 he was arrested for crimes ranging from stealing to attemped murder. When he was 18 he faced a possible 6 year prison statement. After his friends and family rallied to write letters and help the judge shorten the sentence, he felt obliged to return the favor and turned away from the "Crazy Life". He wrote his first book at the age of 26 and has been writing ever since. Warm-Up Using the cookies we passed out- Please use sensory images to describe your cookie. (Sight, Smell, Touch, Sound, and yes- Taste.) Using the copy of the poem that we handed out please underline all of the places that Rodriguez uses imagery in the poem. What are some things you underlined? Another large aspect that Rodriguez has incorperated into this poem are the ideas and precepts of Transcendentalism. Using your past knowledge of Transcendentalism please circle all the ways you can link this poem to Transcendentalism. The Ten Precepts are:
•Oversoul
•Importance of Nature
•Self-confidence
•Non-conformity
•Self-reliance
•Free thought
•Simplicity
•Getting the most from life
•Society’s effect on the individual
•Importance of dreaming big What are some things you circled? So judging by the way that Rodriguez used imagery, and linked much of the poem to Transcendentalism, the main idea behind this poem is what? Have A Great Day- No Homework! By: Jacob, Travis, and Shila We thought the main idea was: It is "OK" to be different. Being unique has advantages and just conforming to society can drag you down. Time for a short break. Be back here in five minutes ready to go.
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