Poetry Anticipation Guide
Before you read Seaborn Jones?s poem ?The Red Horse,? decide whether you agree
(A) or disagree (D) with the statements below. Share your before reading
answers with a peer, a group or the class. Now read the poem. After reading
the poem, respond to the statements based solely on the reading. Review your
lists of answers. Write a journal entry to show any change in your thinking .
Before / After
_____ _____ 1. Art conveys a meaning intended by the artist.
_____ _____ 2. Art can be understood by everyone.
_____ _____ 3. Interpreting poetry requires experience more than
_____ _____ 4. Readers should search for hidden meanings in a poem.
_____ _____ 5. Written or verbal miscommunication is a universal experience.
_____ _____ 6. It?s frustrating when people don?t understand what you mean.
_____ _____ 7. We make meaning by comparing the unknown to what we know.
_____ _____ 8. Maybe there?s a way to tell time by peacock feathers.
THE RED HORSE Seaborn Jones
When the woman in the museum
looked at the Chagall, she said,
"But what does it mean?
I don't like art where the artist hides the meaning."
Flying fish, man with goat's head
offering a bouquet of fireworks
to an upside down bride.
Once I was pulled over by the police;
I had laryngitis and all I could do
was make a sound like a cross between
a goose and a fog-horn.
When I tried to write a note
explaining my condition, I realized
I couldn't spell laryngitis
and handed them a piece of paper that said,
?I have Larry."
They passed it back and forth
saying, "What does he mean;
what does it mean?"
Maybe I should have handed them
a drawing of a violinist with no head.
Or like the clerk in the store
when I asked the time, responded,
"I don't know; I'm just hired help."
Then presented me with a peacock feather.
What does it mean?
Maybe there's a way to tell time
by peacock feathers. Something buried
in the mythology of hired help.
Circle of children
pointing feathers toward the moon.
I feel about the woman in the museum
the way she feels about Chagall:
what does she mean
what does he mean?
The peacock spreads his fan of fireworks.
It is time.