Dennis Lee: Canadian Poetry for Children and Adults

Mr. Steel

"A Walk in the Woods"


1. Map the rhyming scheme of this poem.




2. Describe the atmosphere of the poem.







3. Describe what you hear when you read the poem.






4. Describe what you feel when you read the poem.









5. What do you think the intended effect of this poem is meant to be for children?















"The Gods"


Part I


1. What form does this poem take?



2. What is the central problem of the poem?







3. Why would this be a problem?








4. What does Lee mean when he speaks of people who are "ripe" for a "hot lobotomy"?








5. Why does Lee smile and snicker in the poem?










6. How does Lee say that modern people differ from the ancients?









7. What does Lee mean when he says "the tickle of the cosmos is gone"?










8. What does Lee say has happened to our words and our ability to think about gods in the modern world?











9. What does Lee take as an example of how to relate with the ancient experience of the cosmos?








Part II


1. What scene does Lee describe at the beginning of this poem in order to give his readers an inkling of the meaning of the word, "godforce"?








2. Describe how the feeling of "godforce" wells up in Lee's being.







3. What does Lee say upon experiencing this? What feelings are invokes in him?






4. Where does Lee begin to see gods? How does one see a god?







5. What does Lee mean when he speaks of "grace in the shining air"?







6. What does Lee think needs to be forgotten in order to cultivate the experience of gods?







7. When speaking of the "dimension of otherness," how does Lee think that we must live in the world in order to see gods?







8. How might the spiritual experiences sought out by Lee be integral to the poet's art?








9. What sort of experience is Lee describing when he writes, "whirling it reins into phase through us, good god it can/ use us"?


Part III


1. What word does Lee wish to use?






2. Why is technology problematic for Lee?









3. What does Lee mean when he says that wants "the world to be real and it will not"?








4. Why does Lee feel that language is all deficient?









5. What does he mean when he says, "whether you are godhead or zilch or daily ones like before/ you strike our measure a still and still you endure as my murderous fate,/ though I/ do not know you.