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Forrest Hamer

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Joel Cheng

on 11 March 2014

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Transcript of Forrest Hamer

Which one's Forrest Hamer?
Learning Goals:
Critical Thinking:
-To develop analytical abilities and investigate the effects of literary devices on poetry, by exploring the works of Forrest Hamer

by Joel Cheng, Mark Gervolino and Lachlan Williams

Forrest Hamer
Forrest Hamer
Ice Cube
Personal Development:
-To better understand the lives of African
Americans in the 20th century
-African American, born in North Carolina, 1956-Present

-Grew up surrounded by segregation and racial prejudice, often writes about his struggles as a result

-Attended Yale and Berkeley University, and now lives in Oakland

Your task:
To write a poem in the style of Forrest Hamer's poetry
Personal experience or problems, include a theme!
-Don't need clear form, just write your thoughts
Use colors and descriptive words
Poetic Devices
Biography Cont.

-Famous American poet, writer, psychologist and psychoanalyst

-Has won numerous awards for his works

-Very well regarded
-#450 on Poem-Hunter's list of all time best poets
-Works have appeared in many magazines and literary journals
Poem #2: Lesson
It was 1963 or 4, summer,
and my father was driving our family
from Ft. Hood to North Carolina in our 56 Buick.
We'd been hearing about Klan attacks, and we knew

Mississippi to be more dangerous than usual.
Dark lay hanging from the trees the way moss did,
and when it moaned light against the windows
that night, my father pulled off the road to sleep.

that usually woke me from rest afraid of monsters
kept my father awake that night, too,
and I lay in the quiet noticing him listen, learning
that he might not be able always to protect us

from everything and the creatures besides;
perhaps not even from the fury suddenly loud
through my body about his trip from Texas
to settle us home before he would go away

to a place no place in the world
he named Viet Nam. A boy needs a father
with him, I kept thinking, fixed against noise
from the dark.
Key Points of Lesson
Free verse, not robotic, choppy, helps to amplify the theme
8 Steps
Step 1: Read Poem carefully and at least twice
Step 2: Diction/Word choice
Step 3: Syntax, word order, spacing, rhyme, punctuation, line breaks
Step 4: Figurative language, metaphors, similes
Step 5: Create an image
Step 6: Form? (Sonnet, Haiku)
Step 7: Theme
Step 8: Form following function
Poem #1: Grace
This air is flooded with her. I am a boy again, and my mother
and I lie on wet grass, laughing. She startles, turns to
marigolds at my side, saying beautiful, and I can see the red
there is in them.

When she would fall into her thoughts, we'd look for what
distracted her from us.

My mother's gone again as suddenly as ever and, seven months
after the funeral, I go dancing. I am becoming grateful.
Breathing, thinking, marigolds.
No rhyme scheme or structure, shows the unpredictable nature of life
Repetition of marigolds, described as beautiful and red
First part seems like memories, then suddenly we go back to the present
Many tone shifts
Theme: Hope after Death
Theme: The world is not always safe
The context
Uses a lot of description as well as colors, uses the word monsters and creatures
Image: Frightened child in a car ride, creates a tone similar to that of a nightmare
Metaphors, Personification
Form following function
A Poem also About the Unconscious
To make it back home across town,
we had to learn to walk
only through black neighborhoods.
Think about this as the map
of a mind

laying out spaces
that are familiar and safe
as well as the places where, if it is dark, someone in the distance
crosses to the other side of the street,
just in case.
Our Analysis:
Diction/Word Choice: Often mentions darkness to show a sense of danger
Uses metaphors: "As a map of a mind..."
-Conveys that the prejudice is very strong, consciously engraved
-Relates to title of the poem
Form: Choppy, no clear form, shows the unclear and disorganized result of racism
Theme: Destructiveness of Racism

Form following function
Learning Goals Restated:
Critical Thinking:
-To develop analytical abilities and investigate the effects of literary devices on poetry, by exploring the works of Forrest Hamer

Personal Development:
-To better understand the lives of African
Americans in the 20th century
Full transcript