by Linda Pastan
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
- Robert Frost
In this overtly dark poem by Frost, a husband and wife grieve differently over their recently deceased child.Pair “Home Burial” with “Accidents” and ask students to discuss how each poem explores the experience of losing a child. Frost’s poem uses a conversation between two people to explore the impact of loss: how does this compare to Pastan’s use of singular speaker to explore loss?
To a Daughter Leaving Home
- Linda Pastan
In Linda Pastan’s poem “To a Daughter Leaving Home,” a mother describes watching her daughter ride away on her bike.Pair “Accidents” with “To a Daughter Leaving Home” and ask students to discuss the similar styles and themes of these two poems by the same author. How do these two poems explore tragedy or the possibility of tragedy? What role does anxiety play in this? How does this affect the overall tone of the two poems?
- Junot Díaz
In Junot Díaz’s “The Terror,” Díaz explores his experiences with fear after getting beat-up as an adolescent.Pair “Accidents” with “The Terror” and ask students to discuss how the speakers’ experiences in the two texts affect their views on the future. How did the tragedy in Pastan’s poem and the encounter in Díaz’s text contribute to the anxiety and paranoia that the two speakers felt? Consider how Díaz overcame his fear and how this might apply to the speaker in “Accidents.”
- Linda Pastan
In Linda Pastan’s “Dreams,” the speaker uses figurative language to discuss dreams.Pair “Accidents” with “Dreams” and ask students to compare the imagery Pastan uses in both poems. How does mood develop and shift throughout both pieces? To what extent do recurring images have similar meanings in each piece?
- Teri Ellen Cross Davis
In the poem “Mercy,” a speaker describes their memories of tragic experiences in hospitals.Pair “Mercy” with “Accidents” and ask students to compare how the poems deal with death and grief. How do the speakers of both poems face tragedy, particularly those affecting infants? How does the use of hospital rooms as the settings of both poems impact their meaning?
- Mikala Rempe
In Mikala Rempe’s poem “Marsha,” the speaker describes taking care of someone close to her.Pair “Accidents” with “Marsha” and ask students to discuss how the two texts explore difficult circumstances. How do the sad events that take place in the two poems impact the speakers? How do their lives change?
- Louise Erdrich
In Louise Erdrich’s short story “The Leap,” a narrator describes the life and important experiences of their mother, a retired trapeze performer.Pair “Accidents” with “The Leap” and ask students to discuss the love between a mother and their child. How is the speaker in “Accidents” impacted by the loss of her child? How does this poem help students understand what the mother in “The Leap” is willing to do for her child? How does the mother in “The Leap” protect her child?
The Red Bow
- George Saunders
In George Saunders’ short story “The Red Bow,” a family goes to extreme measures to ensure their community is safe after their daughter is killed by a rabid dog.Pair “Accidents” with “The Red Bow” to provide students with a poem about losing a child. Ask students to discuss how the speakers in the two texts describe losing a child. In the poem, the speaker describes the death of their child as an accident. Do students consider Emily’s death an accident in “The Red Bow”? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent Emily’s death? How does Emily’s father express his feelings about this question? What do students think of his point of view? How do both texts explore how parents are changed by the death of their child?