I Saw The Figure 5 - Art & Poetry


    A Day in Class:  Interpreting Poetry through Image

    Using their analysis skills, students read and discussed the poem The Great Figure (1921) by William Carlos Williams.  They then reviewed the famous painting "The Figure 5 in Gold: by Charles Demuth (1928) and called upon their knowledge of art history to compare and contrast the two.  After their discussions, students created their own artistic interpretations of the abstract poem.

    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

    William Carlos Williams
    Sour Grapes: A Book of Poems
    Four Seas Company, Boston, 1921

    Student artwork, submitted in response to the poem: