Teach This Poem: "The Metier of Blossoming" by Denise Levertov
Produced for K-12 educators, Teach This Poem features one poem a week from our online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom. The series is written by our Educator in Residence, Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, and is available for free via email.
- Show your students the video “Amaryllis Growing, Flowering and Decaying, Time-Lapse” twice. The first time, they should watch the entire video. The second time, ask them to write down as many details as they can about the growth of the amaryllis bulb. Ask your students to share their details with a partner.
- Project the poem “The Metier of Blossoming” so all your students can see it. Explain that métier is a French word. Ask if any of your students know the meaning. If not, help them look it up. Ask your students to read the poem silently and write down the words and phrases that jump out at them. Ask one student to read the poem aloud. The listening students should add new words and phrases that they notice to their lists. Ask a second student to read the poem aloud, with the others following the same process.
- Ask your students: What are the vivid words Denise Levertov uses to describe the growth of the amaryllis? Why does she say growth is its “métier”? In what ways does Denise Levertov compare and contrast human growth to amaryllis growth? What is the evidence for this in the poem?