Use the three stories to write three poems.

This assignment has two parts. First, the poem is between 100-150 words. The second part is a few sentences that interpret the poem. In other words, restate what the poem means.

Use the stories I attaches to you and write three poems. Using a poem rather than a narrative in order to communicate one of your experiences of class difference. You will have to be creative because of formal limits of poems. You will not be able to provide a great deal of background, you cannot rely on concepts, and you will probably not be able to refer to repeated actions.

Guideline:

  1. Do not use the words “Asian” or “Asian American.”
  2. Use ordinary language, not “poetic” language. In other words, you should aim for words that you have heard or used before in daily life. You can also use a small number of common words or phrases that are not in English as long as you give translation and romanization (if necessary) in parentheses.
  3. Do not rhyme.
  4. Although you should use ordinary and common language, you should aim to use the words to say things that have never been said before.
  5. Make your poem accessible to the senses. In other words, your poem should focus on things you can touch, taste, smell, hear, or see or on actions that involve the bodies of the characters. That is, your poem should focus on images and on the material world.
  6. Your poem should focus on images and not concepts. “Lifestyle” is a concept, and you should not use that word.

    Here are examples of images:
    Gucci handbag
    McDonalds
    Cookies and cakes my aunt makes
    She wrapped my rice in nori
    iPhone 7
    My cousin’s classroom

  7. The poem should be told from your own perspective. In other words, the poem should be autobiographical. Because the poem is told from your perspective, you cannot put thoughts into the minds of other characters.

Reflect on your addressees before you write your poem. Most immediately, your addressee might be the person who was the focus of your Telling Your Story Assignment. Your addressees might also be parents/family, international students from your country, students from your high school, or people with a specific immigration status/identity. Additionally, you should also think of Asian Americans like your classmates as your audience. However, make sure that you do not try to address everybody.

For some of you it will be helpful for you to use stanzas like paragraphs. A stanza break can show a turning point so that you can illustrate how a situation changed. You could also use the stanza break to show contrasts between points of view.

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