The introduction in our textbook to the passage from Grapes of Wrath indicates that “[w]hile The Grapes of Wrath follows the Joads, a sharecropper family of “Okies” who seek a better life in California, their story is interwoven with interchapters, which compare and contrast the Joad story with that of thousands of Okies moving west and trying to adapt to a new world now run by corporate farms. The interchapters often serve as a place for Steinbeck to artfully craft his own political manifestos about the lives of the dispossessed.”
Sometimes passages in the novel, and especially in interchapters like these, almost sound like poetry. Critic Peter Lisca believe the novel’s varying prose styles helped make it a masterpiece. Steinbeck’s prose, he writes, has the “sound of passages from The Psalms,” a point he makes clear by writing a passage out in poetry form. An example is provided in Chapter 6, page 155.
Your task is to write a “found poem.” A found poem is created by taking words, phrases, and passages from one source and reframing them as poetry with changes in spacing and lines or by adding or deleting text to impart new or enhanced meaning. Select a passage that sounds like a poem to you. Rearrange it to look like a poem by breaking it up into poetic lines. You may rearrange sentences, use repetition of phrases or sentences, or reshape Steinbeck’s language to create of enhance the metaphors and similes he uses.
Read Farm: A Multi-Modal Reader pg 155 for more discussion on this assignment