by Dunya Mikhail
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.
There Will Come Soft Rains
- Sara Teasdale
"There Will Come Soft Rains" (1920) is a 12-line poem by Sara Teasdale in her collection Flame and Shadow. The poem imagines nature reclaiming a battlefield after the fighting is finished. The poem also alludes to the idea of human extinction by war (lines 10 and 12), which was not a commonplace idea until the invention of nuclear weapons, 25 years later.Pair “There Will Come Soft Rains” and “Bag of Bones” and ask students to discuss how both poems contribute to their understanding of life after a conflict or atrocity. How does each poem capture a different part of life after tragedy?
The War Works Hard
- Dunya Mikhail
Born and raised in Iraq, Dunya Mikhail (1965—) has written much about the wars she lived through in her home country, until she was forced to flee the country in 1996 after threats and harrassment from the government. This satirical poem praises the diligence of war and its effects, from "provid[ing] food for flies" to "invigorat[ing] the coffin makers."Pair “The War Works Hard” with “Bag of Bones” and ask students to discuss how the author of these two poems uses different points of view and tones to discuss war and death. Are the themes of the two poems different as a result?
Dark History Of Rwanda's Genocide
In “Dark History of Rwanda’s Genocide Makes It Hard To Move On,” Steve Inskeep discusses moving on from the Rwandan Genocide with Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.Pair “Dark History of Rwanda’s Genocide” with “Bag of Bones” and ask students to discuss how this poem could be representative of the experiences of those who survived the Rwandan genocide. How does Mikhail’s poem reflect grappling with the difficult questions that remain after mass atrocities?
War in Sudan
- Jessica McBirney
In this informational text, Jessica McBirney discusses the causes and effects of armed conflicts that have gone on for decades in Sudan and South Sudan.Pair “Bag of Bones” with “War in Sudan,” and ask students to consider the effects of genocide. What does it feel like to read about the genocide in Darfur? What are their reactions to reading “Bag of Bones”? What kind of impact do the facts in “War in Sudan” have compared to the thoughts and images in “Bag of Bones”?