The Ways Our Sonnets Flow

poet reading

April was National Poetry Month. Our E3 class wrote a booklet of poems (sonnets). Here’s one by Leonardo Castillo:

Oh Money!

There are people that adore money
It is their honey
They are drunk on success
They don’t know the stress
They don’t feel any pain
If it isn’t related to their gain
They can work the whole day
Without ever hitting the hay
They want to own the water
To control the world better
They dream about how it would be sold
As a way to amass a lot of gold
And the most important issue, they think
Is to exhibit their wives wrapped in mink

Leonardo Castillo

Click on the picture below to read more. Comment and let us know which ones are your favorite – you can even write your own sonnet! Enjoy!

sonnetcover

Share this:

Perfect Poem for Fall

Sonnet 73

by William Shakespeare

That time of year thou mayst in me behold

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,

Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

In me thou see’st the twilight of such day

As after sunset fadeth in the west;

Which by and by black night doth take away,

Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.

In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,

As the deathbed whereon it must expire,

Consumed with that which it was nourished by.

This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,

To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

mayst = may

see’st = see

fadeth – fades

doth = does

whereon = on which

perceive’st – perceive / see

thy = your

thou = you

ere = before

Sonnet 73

by William Shakespeare

你可望见我身上的秋天,

光秃秃的枝条,焦叶悬颤,

冷冷、空空、倾圮的唱诗坛-

可爱的鸟儿曾啁啾婉啭。

你可见到我身上的黄昏,

如落日在西天渐渐消隐;

未几,黑夜-取代死神化身,

于安息之中将万物封存。

你可见到我身上的火光,

在其青春的余烬上卧躺,

它定将熄灭于临终之床,

连同其燃烧物一起消亡。

明乎此,你的爱会更浓烈,

好好爱吧-不久,你将离别。

Soneto 73

by William Shakespeare 

En mí puedes ver esa estación del año

en que hojas amarillas —pocas, o ninguna—

cuelgan de las ramas que tiemblan contra el viento,

desnudos coros en ruinas donde, al atardecer, los pajaros cantaban.

En mí ves la penumbra de ese día

que después del ocaso se hace tenue 

en el oeste. La noche, esa otra muerte, 

se la lleva poco a poco y sella todo en su silencio. 

En mí ves el brillo de aquel fuego

que descansa en las cenizas de su juventud

como en el lecho donde deberá expirar

consumido por aquello que alguna vez lo alimentaba.

De todo esto te das cuenta. Tu amor se hace más fuerte

para amar tiernamente lo que habrás de dejar aquí por siempre.

Share this:

Bill Withers

Bill Withers is an American singer and song writer. He was born on July 4, 1938 in West Virginia. Bill joined the US Navy when he was 18 and served for 9 years. Afterwards, he moved to California and began his music career. Bill Withers has written some of the most well known songs of our time; “Ain’t No Sunshine“, “Grandma’s Hands“, “Just The Two Of Us” and many more. Below you can listen to Bill sing his song, “Lean On Me”. Also below is a video of the song with lyrics you can read.

Let us know what you think about the song in the comments section.

Is it a happy song or a sad song?

What does the phrase ‘lean on me‘ mean?

Do you have someone to ‘lean on‘ or does someone often ‘lean on‘ you?

What does the phrase ‘swallow your pride’ mean?

Have you ever had to ‘swallow your pride‘?

Listen to some of Bill Withers’ other songs and tell us what you’re favorite is.

Read the lyrics below…Read More »

Share this:

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?

Since it’s summer, and a very hot one at that, we thought we’d share a poem about summer with you. It’s a sonnet by William Shakespeare. Below the poem you will find definitions for some of the more difficult words and Chinese and Spanish translations; above you can watch a video of someone reading it. Enjoy:

Sonnet 18

by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

shall = should, thee = you, thou = you, art = are, hath = has, thy = your, owest = owe, wander’st = wander, growest = grow

18.

許吾將卿比做明媚夏日?

卿更可愛更知溫柔克制:

五月嫩蕊常遭狂風摧遲,

夏之賃期*則又苦短難滯。

有時九天之眼烈焰狂悍,

時常其金容則受蔽黯淡,

世之美者,其美類皆存難,

有時不測,有時歲月自然;

然卿之永恆夏將不凋殘,

卿之所美者,卿永擁其屬,

當卿隨此永恆詩篇*殖展,

冥神亦難誇卿遊其死谷:

但許人可吐息,目可識丁,

此詩即活,且賦生命與卿。

XVIII

¿A un día de verano compararte?

Más hermosura y suavidad posees.

Tiembla el brote de mayo bajo el viento

y el estío no dura casi nada.

A veces demasiado brilla el ojo

solar, y otras su tez de oro se apaga;

toda belleza alguna vez declina,

ajada por la suerte o por el tiempo.

Pero eterno será el verano tuyo.

No perderás la gracia, ni la Muerte

se jactará de ensombrecer tus pasos

cuando crezcas en versos inmortales.

Vivirás mientras alguien vea y sienta

y esto pueda vivir y te dé vida.

Share this:

Write On!

Click on the picture below to read autobiographies, poems, interviews and advice written by this past year’s Evening Classes. There are also some writing prompts towards the end. Let us know what you think about these writings in the comment section and send us your writings at usadultliteracy@gmail.com   Congratulations to all of the students on a successful year. Write On!

writes

Share this:

Poets in Unexpected Places

ww

More poetry coverage for National Poetry Month. This is a story from the New York Times about a group from New York who performs poetry in public places.

Watch the video and read the article (don’t forget to read some of the NYT comments to see what others think about this story).

poetrypic

Comment below, let us know what you think about the video and answer some of these questions:

How do you feel about performers on the subway?
Do you prefer to be left along, or enjoy the show?
Have you seen any of these performers on your train rides?

You can find more information about Pop Up Poets here.

You can also read some great poems about New York here. Which one is your favorite?

subwaypoem

Share this:

Robert Frost

594549~Poet-Robert-Frost-in-Affable-Portrait-Axe-Slung-over-Shoulder-in-Wintry-Rural-Setting-Posters-1

Robert Frost

Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. He is well known for his realistic writings of rural life and his use of American informal (slang) speech. His poems were often set in rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, and used these settings to look at complex social and philosophical themes. Frost has often been quoted by other people. He was honored often during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

yellow_wood

Share this: