Bilingual Glosas

Lesson Introduction

A glosa is a poem that organizes itself around four lines borrowed from another poem. A form invented in Spain in the fifteenth century, the glosa begins with the borrowed four lines set off as an epigraph. The poet then writes four stanzas of ten lines each, with each stanza ending on a line from the epigraph (stanza 1 ends with line 1 of the quoted text, stanza 2 with line 2, etc.). In this lesson, students will learn the form of the glosa, see an example of a bilingual glosa, and write their own glosas using four-line quotations of poems in another language (e.g., they write English-language poems in response to a four-line quotation from a French poem).

Learning Objectives

In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:

  • Write their own poems
  • Learn about a traditional poetic form
  • Practice translating from another language (optional)¬†

Materials and Resources

To teach this lesson, you will need:

  • Computer with internet access
  • Bilingual dictionaries
  • Poetry In Voice online anthology (on the Poetry In Voice website)
  • Books of poetry in another language (optional)
  • Suggested Stanzas for Bilingual Glosas¬†handout (optional)

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