This spring, Bosque 10th graders were supposed to end the year reading Aimé Césaire’s postcolonial re-write of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, titled A Tempest, or Une Tempête in the original French. However, the 60+ copies of A Tempest still sit untouched in Ms. Zavitz’ classroom in the Schoolhouse. Also, Ms. Zavitz acknowledged that the comparative essays they would have written on the two versions of the play became merely “figments of her lesson plans’ imagination.”
With the shift to remote learning, Ms. Zavitz’ 10th grade English classes quickly changed gears and turned to alternative texts and shorter writing assignments that would hone students’ critical thinking skills and give them space for creative ways to process this “new normal.”
“We wrote poems, listened to sonnets, debated utopian ideas, visualized the spaces (often one’s bedroom) we now inhabited, and explored the history of food through the lens of colonialism,” Ms. Zavitz explained. “We took Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which the class was finishing as we broke for remote learning, as a launching pad to explore related themes and develop creative assignments that challenged students and gave them space to process.” Ms. Zavitz wanted to celebrate the prolific work that her students have created during this time by sharing their words (including some in iambic pentameter).
Found Poems: In a “found poem,” only words collected from another text(s) can be used.
For this assignment, students used the titles of songs, stories, articles, movies, or TV shows they were listening to, reading, or watching during quarantine. The following are found poems written by Ms. Zavitz’ 10th grade students:
True to My Craft
By Paolo ‘22
I’ve fallen in love,
in love with the beautiful game,
and there ain’t,
From playin’ the game.
I been hitting the wall,
everyday hitting the wall, with that ball
I’ll be true.
True to the craft.
By Sean ‘22
Breaking the haunt of the dead house,
Breaking the mirror
Like black gems
Dark, lost in death
She’s locked in time,
Is it bad, or for the better?
The Soundtrack to the End of the World
By Jayden ‘22
good news fades.
The less I know the better.
numb like Novocaine.
Glass house, and I’m trapped in my mind.
Restore the feeling,
reality is gone.
Death and taxes baptized in the fire.
Reborn, a new revolution.
Sonnets: Ms. Zavitz’ class also composed sonnets following the Shakespearean model in which each sonnet has 14 lines, each line has 10 syllables, and the lines follow a specific rhyming pattern.
By Lola ‘22
Will you sing me a song as soft as May?
Wondering honey words spill from your chin;
You are fresh white linen, a silent day,
Oh, to waste away in my breaking skin.
Your innocence lingers like lilac scent,
Existence is too delicate to touch;
The quiet sweetness of heaven's augment.
I stagger and wheeze, so you are my clutch.
My infectious blood pools through my clenched teeth.
So, are you real or something I perceive?
Through breaks in your skin I see underneath,
Through beautiful sterling words you deceive.
You are not my crutch but mortal like all;
I thought of you big, but the truth is small.
My Guardian Tree
By Chloe ‘22
Youthful yellow light shines from the blue sky.
White fluffs blowing in the breeze like white snow.
My wide wings lift me up and let me fly
Free but it is yet an illusion, ho!
I fall to the earth; harsh winds push me round;
But your tall trunk blocks most of the cruel storm.
Bombs of water fall, streaking at me bound;
But your leaves catch drops from the thunderstorm.
My fairy friends ascend off to the sun.
I wish to follow but the pouring rain
Saturates my wings, I’m left with no one
I look up, there you are to take my pain.
The world is abound with trees of all kinds,
But none have the kindness in you I find.
Asleep for the Day
By Aldo ‘22
I think you should get out of bed today;
The sun is shining through the cloudy sky.
Your mattress must feel like it’s made of hay,
But you must get up and don’t ask me why.
Please don’t forget you have a life to live;
Your days are a glass filled with falling sand.
Just ten percent is all you have to give,
So leave your bed and venture onto land
It’s half past three and you are still asleep;
The sun must be a flashlight on your face.
Your slumber can not truly be this deep;
The day is gone and you have left no trace.
This quarantine is quite the quandary,
But you should go and do your own laundry
You Will Not Prevail
By Elena ‘22
You think that I’m your bird locked in a cage
to sing sugar-sweet melodies, detached
from ev’ry hope of freedom; a wise sage
content to stay inside with the door latched.
But I do not exist to follow rules.
No, I intend to grow and shout and play;
unlike the hesitant, unerring fools,
my plan remains to smash your cage today.
And I will nevermore believe your lies:
just snares to trick me until I conform;
those drops of honey, curses in disguise,
betraying me, then struck down by the storm.
Though ev’ry cage can trap triumphantly,
it won’t be long ’til birds inside are free.
Maps: Ms. Zavitz’ students also had to map an important place in their lives. Examples of these can be seen on the right. Naomi ‘22 mapped Travertine Falls, a hiking trail in Cedar Crest, New Mexico. Lance ‘22, drew a detailed map of his automobile. Lastly, Emiliano ‘22 created a map of Albuquerque, laying out the various neighborhoods in the city and including landmarks like his parents’ houses and Bosque School.