Roque Dalton

Today is the first real day of class in my course on Hispanic poetry that I designed in lieu of a traditional language course. We will be reading Roque Dalton, the great Salvadoran poet.

I can’t believe I developed the whole course, readings and everything in under 3 hours. I’m going to approximate the class environment to that of a bunch of friends getting together to talk about poetry. This is why we won’t even be staying in the classroom.

I’m really excited, and I haven’t been excited about a language course in years. Possibly, decades.

4 thoughts on “Roque Dalton

    1. Just finished the first section. I dragged the students out of the classroom (that was freezing cold even for me) and into the warm, cosy lounge. They seemed a little shell-shocked because this is unlike any other language course they’ve had.

      But I’m general, it went as well as I could have hoped. In the end, everybody composed their own poem Roque Dalton-style. And the resulting poems were actually quite profound.


    1. I realized that I should have led with the activity that I put at the end, which was to create their own poem on the basis of one of Dalton’s poems. That one really worked.

      I have a smaller group and a larger group, and the smaller one I took to our lounge to create a homier environment. It will take some time but I feel like it will work.

      I’m also planning to take them to Starbucks during class once they feel more comfortable with the language.


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