Tapestry of Faith: Exploring Our Values Through Poetry: A Program for High School Youth

Activity 1: Prison

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Photocopy Handout 1, "End of a Discussion with a Jailer," one for each participant.

Description of Activity

Distribute Handout 1, "End of a Discussion with a Jailer." Ask two or more volunteers to read it aloud, pausing for thirty seconds between readings and after the last reading. Then lead a "What do we have here?" discussion, using these questions:
  • What is the story of the poem?
  • What is the "large cell" to which the speaker refers?

Lead a "What's the big idea?" discussion, using these questions:

  • Is the theme of death present in the poem? Is this death a spiritual death, a physical death, or both? Explain.
  • What does this poem say about freedom?
  • How does this poem make you feel, and why?

Invite participants to spend about three minutes journaling about this poem. The journal entry could include their thoughts about the discussion with the group, or it could be about a time in their lives when they felt imprisoned, stifled, bound, or prevented from acting freely in accordance with their conscious.