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Poems by Phyllis Oded




A POEM FOR 2010

Little stars in the polluted sky,
I can no longer see you with my naked eye.
So much smog and contamination
block the view of your illumination.

Telephone antennas and refrigerators emit
all forms of pollution that aren't legit.
The polar ice is melting; the rain forests disappear.
It's the next generation that has most to fear.
What kind of world will they have to live in
because we don't care what we leave or give them?

Twinkle, twinkle stars so brightly.
I can no longer see you nightly.
But keep on shining. Maybe the next generations
will figure out how to get rid of all the contaminations?

... if the world hasn't blown itself up by then.
[Maybe it's not an 'if' but a matter of 'when'?]



Written assignment: Agree/Disagree with the ideas presented in the poem above. 120-140 words. [Intro/Paragraphs/Summary/Petrazillia]



(Version One: to be read aloud to the students.)

Richard Cory's Suicide Note

Dear Townspeople:

Committing suicide isn't a joke.
Why hang myself and then have to choke?
I've suffered enough when you all ignored me,
although we had nothing in common. Frankly, you BORED me!

You were always working and sweating; no music, no life
and you were always whispering," So rich and no wife!"
Well, though it's none of your business, I can tell you now,
because I know that you'll all find out in the end, anyhow.

No wife, no children to carry on my name.
Every boring day was more of the same.
Money, possessions, champagne and meat,
but the bottom line is: How much can I eat?
I've traveled the world: No new places left for me.
'Been there; done that!" nothing left to do or to see.

MY WILL
Townspeople:
I leave you my land, my money and my home
Even rich people can be unhappy, as you see in this poem.
I'm not taking the easy way out with a pill.
Please bury me under the big tree on the hill.

Richard Cory

Written assignment: OPINION: Does the absence of spouse/children mean a person's life is meaningless? What can one do to make his/her life meaningful? 120-140 words.



(Version Two: NOT for the students.)

Richard Cory's Suicide Note

Dear Townspeople:

Committing suicide isn't a joke.
Why hang myself and then have to choke?
I've suffered enough when you all ignored me,
although we had nothing in common. Frankly, you BORED me!

You were always working and sweating; no music, no life
and you were always whispering," So rich and no wife!"
Well, though it's none of your business, I can tell you now,
because I know that you'll all find out in the end, anyhow.

My wife, it seems, fell in love with our cow.
If you go to the pasture, you'll see them there now.
The shame of it was just too great for me,
so I've committed suicide, as you can see.

MY WILL
Townspeople:
Kill that cow and fillet it into steak.
Give my wife the biggest piece to eat for my sake.
May it 'rest in pieces' with ketchup and fries.
May my wife be unhappy till the day that she dies.

I leave YOU not only my money and land, but also the cow's tail.
Just remember: even RICH people can be unhappy and fail.
I have taken the easy way out, but not with a pill.
Please bury me under the big tree up there on the hill.

Richard Cory



(Version Three)

Richard Cory's Suicide Note

Dear Mr. Farmer:
Instead of working so hard to earn your bread,
why don't you combine several farms and work together instead:
Form a kibbutz and share the labor.
You'll ALL benefit if you work with your neighbor.

I see you looking at me with envy and greed.
My advice is to go back to school and learn how to read!
Stop your 'qvetching' and change your life,
[and by the way, pay more attention to your wife.
She is always looking at me with smiling and winking.
I'm afraid to ask what she must be thinking!]

Take out a loan from my bank and buy a new plow,
or start a dairy; don't own just one cow.
Expand! Think ahead and stop 'qvetching' OIY VEY.
Listen to me, Mr. Farmer. There IS a better way!

Just use your 'yiddishah coup' for a change.
With proper planning you could be 'home on the range'.
Go to an Israeli kibbutz and learn how it's done.
Get back to your Jewish roots; it could be lots of fun.

"Mine kinde', take advice from a 'lanszman'. Get your head out of the sand
and move to Israel, the promised land.
Have your son bar-mitzvahed next year at The Wall.
We all know you're Jewish, so be proud and stand tall.

In my WILL I am leaving you a lot of money
to go to Israel: the land of milk and honey.
Your son will serve in the Army; your daughter won't intermarry;
Don't think about the Infatada and life being scary.
I'm sorry I didn't make the move when I was young.
Too late now. My life is done.
BANG!

Yours,
Richard Cory
a.k.a. Reuven Cooperman formerly from Arad

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