Homeless Bird

Homeless Bird
 Path 1

Path 1
1. LISTEN to Homeless Bird on audiotape in class
2. COMPLETE 10 Required Journals
3. TAKE Multiple Choice test on Literary Terms
4. WRITE a Response to Literature - Homeless Bird

Summary of Homeless Bird

Thirteen-year-old Koly, a talented embroidery artist living in modern day India, must leave her struggling family with only precious silver earrings from her mother as a dowry to marry a man she has never met. Soon after the awkward wedding, she learns that her new husband, Hari, is a sick boy and his parents only married him off in order to get her dowry for his medical expenses. With Hari's doomed fate and the realization that she may not be welcomed into the family after his death, Koly has to learn how to survive on her own within the limits of India's society.

Required Journals for Homeless Bird

  •  Imagine India - View the India Slide show.  What questions come to mind as you're viewing?  What impressions do you have of India?  Would you want to visit there?  Explain.
  • Vocabulary from India - We've adopted many words from Hindi into our language.  Which ones from this list do you already know?  (Highlight them).  Choose
  • Hinduism - In order to understand Koli's behaviors and decisions, it's important to know a little bit about Hinduism.  Study Hinduism in class and write a list of 5-7 facts that you learned.
  • Culture - Read the first two pages of Homeless Bird set in a modern day Indian village.  What did you learn about marriage customs?

  •  Vocabulary from Homeless Bird - Listen for these words in Homeless Bird. . Try to  write the meaning of the words by using context clues.  Complete at least 25 words.

  • Writer's styleAnalyze the literary devices the the author uses.  Find at least 3 examples of each of these devices:  simile, personification, metaphor, hyperbole, alliteration, onomatopoeia, symbolism.

  • Reaction- Read the article "Once Widowed in India, Twice Scorned."  What is your reaction?

  • Quotations - Choose 3 quotations that are meaningful to you.  Tell why.

  • InterpretSummarize Tagore's Poem “Homeless Bird.”   Explain how the poem relates to Koli’s life.    

  • Theme - What is the theme of Homeless Bird?  Explain.
  • Plot - create a plot diagram showing these elements: introduction, setting, rising action, foreshadowing,  confict, turning point, falling action, resolution. 


Homeless Bird by Tagore

Many are the human speeches I've heard migrating
in flocks, flying on invisible tracks
from obscure pasts to distant inchoate futures.
And within myself I've heard
day and night
in the company of countless birds
a homeless bird speeding through light and dark
from one unknown shore to yet another.
On cosmic wings a refrain echoes through space:
'Not here, no, but somewhere, somewhere else!'

Videos on Marriage/Widows in India

Child Marriage in India         Sikh Arranged Marriage

Stolen Childhood            
Illegal Forced Weddings

on the lighter side...     
Arranged Marriage Ad         Marker Ad - Widows

"Once Widowed in India, Twice Scorned"
New York Times article March 1998

"Govind Dasi has only a vague sense of the passing years, but this much she knows: She was married at 12 in her native village outside Calcutta, widowed at 14 when her teen-age husband died of tuberculosis, then forced to work as an unpaid servant for her mother-in-law for about 30 years.

About 15 years ago, penniless and despairing, she boarded a train for the 1,000-mile journey west to Vrindavan, the holy city that has been a point of convergence for Indian widows for at least 500 years."

Gloria Whalen's Page

Extra Credit Studies for Homeless Bird