Friday, July 24, 2015

Poetry, Geography, and Writing: Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas

Havana, Cuba. Photo Credit: Anton Novoselov
Warm up / Review

Do World Geography Daily Skill Builders exercises 27, 28, 30, 32.

Map Work

Label the extended Central American Blank Map Worksheet with Central American countries and now also the islands. Use a reference map to help you with the top one and then fold the paper over and fill in as much of the bottom one as you can without looking. When you need to look, just look!

Six Things to Know About Cuba

1. Spanish control

2. Spanish-American War -- US won control of Cuba, Puerto Rico

3. Why did we not make it a state?

4. U.S. sugar interests in Cuba (A Story of Sugar)

5. Cuban revolution. Hey, there's a Crash Course World History about Latin American Revolutions! Let's watch it now.

6. Communism and Fidel Castro. Changes to contemporary Cuban government.

Six Things to Know About the Bahamas

1. Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama: World's largest underground cave and cavern system.

2. Vocab: archipelago, cay, atoll

3. Pirates had their headquarters on many small Bahamanian islands because of the Gulf Stream carrying Spanish ships full of gold back to Spain. Check out some pirate vocabulary. Why did the pirates develop their own words for things?

4. Folk tales

5. Gullah storytelling.

6. Gullah vocabulary. How did the Gullah language come about?

Six Things to Know About Jamaica


1. Originally populated by Taino Indians, until discovered by Columbus. Then British took it away from Spain.

2. Pirates and privateers used to operate out of the British settlement of Port Royal until that city fell into the sea in 1692. The British actually invited the pirates in to help them keep the Spanish away.

3. Huge slave population due to sugar industry. Emancipation of slaves in 1838. An early slave rebellion in Jamaica was called Tacky's Revolt after the slave who led it.

4. Marcus Garvey promoted the "Back to Africa" movement, advocating for slaves to return to Africa.

5. Rastafari religion and Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia. Watch this video, The Livity of Rastafari.

6. Reggae music and Bob Marley.

Activity: Rastafari Vocabulary

Take a look at this list of Rastafari words. After watching the video, can you figure out what all of these words mean?


I and I
I-tal or Di food fula itality
I man
Idren or Bredren and Sistren
Whore of Babylon


"Cultivo una rosa blanca" by Jose Marti

Cultivo una rosa blanca
en junio como en enero
para el amigo sincero
que me da su mano franca.

Y para el cruel que me arranca
el corazón con que vivo,
cardo ni ortiga cultivo;
cultivo la rosa blanca.

One translation:

I cultivate a white rose
In July as in January
For the sincere friend
Who gives me his hand frankly

And for the cruel person who tears
out the heart with which I live,
I cultivate neither nettles nor thorns:
I cultivate a white rose

Another translation:

I have a white rose to tend
In July as in January;
I give it to the true friend
Who offers his frank hand to me.

And for the cruel one whose blows
Break the heart by which I live,
Thistle nor thorn do I give:
For him, too, I have a white rose.

"Si Ves Un Monte De Espumas"
... (Verso V) by Jose Marti

Si ves un monte de espumas,
Es mi verso lo que ves,
Mi verso es un monte, y es
Un abanico de plumas.

Mi verso es como un puñal
Que por el puño echa flor:
Mi verso es un surtidor
Que da un agua de coral.

Mi verso es de un verde claro
Y de un carmín encendido:
Mi verso es un ciervo herido
Que busca en el monte amparo.

Mi verso al valiente agrada:
Mi verso, breve y sincero,
Es del vigor del acero
Conque se funde la espada.

"If You've Seen A Mount Of Sea Foam" 
(Verse V)
Jose Marti

If you've seen a mount of sea foam,
It is my verse you have seen:
My verse a mountain has been
And a feathered fan become.

My verse is like a dagger
At whose hilt a flower grows:
My verse is a fount which flows
With a sparkling coral water.

My verse is a gentle green
And also a flaming red:
My verse is a deer wounded
Seeking forest cover unseen.

My verse is brief and sincere,
And to the brave will appeal:
With all the strength of the steel
With which the sword will appear.


Time: 20 minutes
Length: 1 page

Write about how language unites and divides people. Take as your example either the Gullah language, pirate vocabulary, or Rastafari wordsounds. Why do people create new languages, or new words? In what ways does misunderstanding separate some people and bring others together? What is the motivation for an oppressed people to develop a sublanguage? How do practitioners of Rastafari use language to define their beliefs? You might even use the example of the poetry we read for today, as our understanding of Spanish may connect us with the poem or prevent us from connecting with the poem.

Prewriting thinking time: Before you begin, think through the examples you might use and decide which will be the strongest. Which do you remember most about, and about which can you think of good solid details to illustrate your point? Your essay might not be about the topic that's of the most interest to you, but about the one that you can most effectively mine for details that will help you support your thesis.

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