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Merwin, William Stanley



1. Before reading the poem, write down the ideas that come to your mind from its title: “Airport”.

2. Focusing on the sound, read the poem on your own, and then listen to your teacher read it aloud. Do you like it? Do you find it musical? Why? Please, think about this for a couple of minutes.

3. Read the poem again, come back to the first stanza (strophe), and find the definition of “airport” that’s given there. Please, write it down.

4. With your group, discuss and write what the poem says about what happens inside an airport. Refer to actions, and to who performs them.

5. The conjunction “yet” shows a contradiction between the meaning of the sixth and seventh stanzas. With your group, please, mark the words or ideas that are in opposition, and explain why.

6. So far the poem has made a portrait of an airport that isn’t very positive. Therefore, why there are people who are glad to be there? Please, discuss it with your group and write down your ideas.

7. On your own, please, reflect about the following: have you ever felt happy in an airport? If yes, what would you say about this place to show or explain your positive feeling? Write it down.

8. Along the poem the speaker’s voice has been very impersonal, but it becomes a “we” in the last stanza. How do you understand this change? How does the “we” contribute to ending the poem? Please, discuss these questions with your group and write your conclusions.

9. With your group try to imagine why does the speaker feel in the way the poem shows. Then, try to think in other places or situations in your life, or in the life of your relatives, that may trigger a feeling of emptiness and solitude. Do you think that the airport was a good example?

poema Airport, Merwin, William Stanley

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