Create a visual interpretation of a poem in the medium of your choice.
Read the poem "What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread" by Alden Nowlan. Visually interpret the poem -- This should be your personal viewpoint.
- It can be 2-D or 3-D, any media or combination of media -- solutions can be drawing, painting, book, sculpture, article of clothing, video, etc.
- This should be your personal viewpoint!
- It must get to the underlying meaning of the poem.
- It must be expressive, and make sense without reading the poem.
- Your interpretation could be literal, symbolic, realistic, impressionistic, expressionistic, abstract, etc.
- Analyze and interpret a written piece
- Apply the content of the piece to your own life
- Exercise your inventiveness
- Showcase your skills/strengths
Grading Criteria (percentages are approximate):
- 10% Ambition in your visual interpretation
- 20% Inventiveness
- 20% Visual Impact - Strength of Design
- 20% Expressiveness
- 20% Craftsmanship/Technique
- 10% Essay / Presentation
- Read the poem below.
- Consider visual ideas that apply the message of the poem to your own life
- Refine your ideas into a fully realized artwork that clearly translates the poem into visual form
- Write at least a 1/2 page (typed) or a full page (handwritten) explaining your visual interpretation and the decisions you made in translating the poem
- Be prepared to discuss your work with the class on exam day.
What happened when he went to the store for bread
For Michael Brian Oliver
Because I went to the store for bread
one afternoon when I was eighteen
and arrived there just in time to meet
and be introduced to a man who had stopped
for a bottle of Coca-Cola (I’ve forgotten his name),
and because this man invited me to visit
a place where I met another man who gave me
the address of yet another man,
this one in another province,
and because I wrote a letter and got an answer
which took me away from the place where I was born,
I am who I am instead of being somebody else.
What would I have been if I hadn’t left there
when I did? I would have almost certainly
gone mad; I think I might have killed somebody.
But even if something else had saved me
from madness, I would not be the same person.
Iíd have spent thirty years in a different world
and come to look at things in such a different way
that even my memories of childhood and youth
would be different; it might even seem to me now
that there was never anything to escape from.
And then too, there are those who are other
than they would have been, because of some small act
of mine; I played a certain record once
because I liked it, and because he liked it too, a stranger
became my friend and, as such, met the woman
he married, and now they have two children
who would not have been born except for my taste in music.
Carrying the thought farther still, there must be
people in cities that I’ve never visited
whose lives have changed, perhaps not because of what
I’ve written but because I wrote: it might be
they didn’t like my play and so left early
and because they left early something happened
that would not have happened if they’d stayed -
I put it that way so as not to sound immodest.
God knows, there’s not a lot to boast about
when so much seems to depend upon the time of day
a boy goes out to buy a loaf of bread.
[Transcribed from the collection "I Might Not Tell Everybody This"]