3.en.75 Some poems and paintings to prepare Sant Jordi’s

This morning we looked at the painting from Demuth. I was impressed, you guessed pretty well what the painting was about. Then, we commented how to prepare our celebration of book day. Last year you did a great job with your book posters. Molly did a great job too with her description of “book”. Do you remember? This year I hope this poster will inspire you to make your own poster to illustrate your cinquain or haiku.

I have cut and pasted the post I had prepared for first year ESO to your blog. This way you will not need to move to find what to do.

Sometimes, painters have turned to poetry or literature for inspiration and sometimes  poets have found inspiration in paintings.

So, I would like to show you two examples of  two poems by a  famous  American poet, William Carlos  Williams.

  • The first poem was inspired by a painting from Pieter Brueghel, Children’s Games (1560)

In Brueghel’s painting, there are more than 250 children playing all kind of games. Some of the games have not changed much in four centuries. I know the quality of the pic is not so good and the charachters are tiny, but you might recognise some of the games that are  still played in the 21st century. No consoles on the horizon.

Have you ever had a Where’s Wally book? Well, if you look carefully at this painting you’ll see that there are many things going on as in Wally’s books.

This is William Carlos Williams’ poem

Children’s Games

William Carlos Williams


This is a schoolyard
with children

of all ages near a village
on a small stream
meandering by

where some boys
are swimming

or climbing a tree in leaf
is motion

elder women are looking
after the small

a play wedding a
nearby one leans

an empty hogshead


Little girls
whirling their skirts about
until they stand out flat

tops pinwheels
to run in the wind with
or a toy in 3 tiers to spin

with a piece
of twine to make it go
blindman’s-buff follow the

leader stilts
high and low tipcat jacks
bowls hanging by the knees

standing on your head
run the gauntlet
a dozen on their backs

feet together kicking
through which a boy must pass
roll the hoop or a

made of bricks
some mason has abandoned


The desperate toys
of children

imagination equilibrium
and rocks
which are to be

and games to drag

the other down
to make use of

a swinging
with which

at random
to bash in the
heads about

Brueghel saw it all
and with his grim

humor faithfully

  • The second poem of William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)  is much shorter and is full of onomatopoeias. This time, the poet did not get inspiration from a painting. It was the other way around. An American painter,  Charles Demuth (1883-1935), who was born the same year as the poet  was inspired by William Carlos William’s  poem  The great figure to paint this work.

  • Does it look like a detailed photo?
  • Is it an abstract painting?
  • Does it look like a poster?
  • Are details important , as in Children’s games?
  • What about colours?

It seems William Carlos Williams wrote  The great figure after watching a fire engine streak past him on a rainy Manhattan street.

This is the poem:

The Great Figure  

Among the rain

and lights

I saw the figure 5

in gold

on a red

fire truck




to gong clangs

siren howls

and wheels rumbling

through the dark city

Try to imagine the sound made by the fire engine passing by, at full speed. 

Which instruments would you use to imitate the sounds?

gong clangs

siren howls

and wheels rumbling

Have a look at some pics of fire trucks.

3.en.72 Onomatopoeia and slang. No money, but music for the weekend.




A choir of fifth graders from a public school, 22 Staten Island, New York, is been followed all over the world after uploading their videos in You Tube.

You can find out more visiting their blog and subscribing to their You Tube channel.

They are great and what is more important they have great fun while singing!

Click here to visit their blog

Here you can see the rehearsal for their appearance at their Avery Fisher Hall debut this Sunday. Next week we’ll look at the New York press  for a review. We might be their first fans from Majorca.

In the rehearsal they do a version of of a song byJessie J called Price tag

Listen to them singing and enjoy!

Last year, Molly, taught you some slang with a Black Eyed Pea song, don’t you remember? Bling bling.

The song told you a story about money and losing your soul…and warned you not to sell your soul for bling bling material things. Click here if you want to remember Molly’s lesson and last year post.Black eyed peas

Well, this year, bling bling, appears again in a similar story.

Some of you are practising your rap and,  in order to transmit your feelings to the audience, it is essential to make your words fit your expression and your body language. Pay attention to the kids while they sing.

  1. Do they look as if they feel what they are singing?
  2. what’s their body language?
  3. Do words and gestures go together?
  4. What is the message of the song?
  5. Have you ever sung in a choir?
  6. Would you like to take part in one?

It’s not about the money, money, money
We don’t need your money, money, money
We just wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the Price Tag
Ain’t about the (uh) Cha-Ching Cha-Ching.
Aint about the (yeah) Ba-Bling Ba-Bling
Wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the Price Tag.


Seems like everybody’s got a price,
I wonder how they sleep at night.
When the sale comes first,
And the truth comes second,
Just stop, for a minute and

Why is everybody so serious
Acting so damn mysterious
Got your shades on your eyes
And your heels so high
That you can’t even have a good time

Everybody look to their left (yeah)
Everybody look to their right (ha)
Can you feel that (yeah)
We’re paying with love tonight

It’s not about the money, money, money
We don’t need your money, money, money
We just wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the Price Tag
Ain’t about the (uh) Cha-Ching Cha-Ching.
Aint about the (yeah) Ba-Bling Ba-Bling
Wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the Price Tag.


Bling bling an onomatopoeia, but it is also slang, which means very informal languageSlang can also refer to vulgar expressions or vulgar and socially taboo language.

7. Can you find any other slang words in the song?

8. Go to PS22 blog and make a comment on their work.

Homework: answer questions 1 to 8 and send them to the blog.

Unfortunately, this year you have no music lessons, so I cannot ask Paquita to rehearse the song with you… but

as the song says:

we ain’t gone to stumble

we gone keep everyone moving their feet

so bring the beat and then everyone sing. (no excuse, the lyrics are in the video)