Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fish of Rage

Every year, I have my Grade 5 music students write and record raps. They can write about whatever they want. We brainstorm many ideas, but I'm always surprised by what they come up with.

Last year there were raps about "If I were Headmaster for the Day," rap renditions of "In Flanders Fields," some strange Oedipal Starwars mashups, lists of favourite foods, sports, and a group of kids who were rapping cool about their peeps hangin' down in Ancaster.

One group wrote this rip-roaring rap introducing another student who went by the handle "Fish," and for his rap was using the name "The Fish of Rage." The rap built up this larger-than-life figure, "The Fish of Rage," something along the lines of "When the Fish of Rage is gunna get here, the Fish of Rage is gunna roar!" When the Fish finally did step up to the mic for his solo, he was quiet and meek, a skinny, giggling little boy who was too shy to finish his rap. But what a great phrase, "The Fish of Rage."

And thus the poem written below., which I wrote when I was with them at Camp Wanakita where my school goes for a week for an eco-awareness/science/outdoor education experience. (More on that later.) I got to sit in a Muskoka chair on a point of land facing Koshlong Lake while the kids were writing in their notebooks in their "Magic Spots." The poem has nothing to do with the actual boy who is the municifent Fish of Rage, but I'm sure he would grant me the dispensation of using the phrase for greater literary glory.


O Toaster of the water, Toaster of the water, your bread is a mystery amidst the reeds.

O slotted henge for fish, fins brush your dials in love and wonder. Your pushed lever is set to darken all underwater with fire.

This in a lake far from the counters of the city & the fish of rage which slide the tarmac river: A narrow page of toast breaches the crenellated surface, dolphins in the new ears of morning, the long united ears of morning which say hurrah, hurrah. A square of darkness jubilant and remembering night.

No comments: