Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Handout 2, "Bladder Song," by Leonard Nathan
Preparation for Activity
- Photocopy Handout 2, "Bladder Song," one for each participant.
Description of ActivityAsk one or two volunteers to read Handout 2, "Bladder Song," aloud. Allow about thirty seconds between readings and before delving into the questions below.
Lead a "What do we have here?" discussion to draw out what happens in the poem:
- What is the story of this poem?
- Why do you think the poet used the word "piss" instead of another term for urine?
Lead a "What's the big idea?" discussion, using these questions:
- Does the poem paint a humorous picture or does it also express something serious?
- Is the poem about celebrating the ordinary, transcending it, or both?
- What do you make of the last line? Why "if it's human"?
- Is this a love poem? If so, who/what loves who/what?
- Do you prefer serious poetry, funny poetry, or both? All the time or sometimes?
NOTE: A Few Words about the Poem
The odd, optimistic, and humorous short poem "Bladder Song" can be read as an ode to our human interconnectedness. Its last line, "Ah, nothing's wasted, if it's human," celebrates a sort of faith in the signals and signs the universe sends to us.