A song/poem/etc. with an intense emotional catharsis?
May 19, 2011 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a song or poem or short story or stand-alone chapter in a novel that has an emotional release or a suggestion on how to deal with anger/negative emotions, especially around family issues. Should be (fairly) appropriate for high school students.

Today a teacher I mentor had a classroom discussion that ended in the following question: "What do you do with all the anger you have from bottling up your emotions? What if no one really cares about you?" Assume the statement is true - most of our students don't have a caring adult who is any kind of positive role model. We want to lead into a discussion on how to process those emotions and find other outlets/ways to feel cared about.

For music, I've thought about "Styrofoam Plates" by Death Cab for Cutie, "Hang On" and "Happier" by Guster. "This Buried Life" (Matthew Arnold) and Child Called It are possibilities. But nothing really feels right, and of course, I'm failing to think of the other brilliant songs/poems/stories out there. Help!?

We're open to almost anything, although it will have to be easy enough to obtain that we can use it in class tomorrow.

Thanks for your help!
posted by guster4lovers to Education (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This Be The Verse, by Philip Larkin isn't exactly uplifting, but takes a philosophical (if wryly cynical) approach towards dysfunctional families. It does, however, contain swears.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:08 PM on May 19, 2011

Actually, sorry; I've not read that poem for ages and it's completely inappropriate. Please disregard.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:10 PM on May 19, 2011

Sounds like old S. E. Hinton books I used to read decades ago. May be too dated for today's students, and you may not be able to find the right book/chapter. Just thought I'd throw it out there FWIW.
posted by forthright at 7:34 PM on May 19, 2011

The scene in Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life where he confronts and successfully fights the oppressive overseer, Covey. I think it's Chapter 10. This is a huge turning point in the story, the moment Douglass becomes free, becomes a man and becomes truly the author of his own life story. Everything that has been making him feel dead gets released here. Good for discussion with high schoolers, I would think.
posted by Tylwyth Teg at 7:45 PM on May 19, 2011

I mean internally free -- sorry for the confusing metaphor!!
posted by Tylwyth Teg at 7:47 PM on May 19, 2011

Also, of course, I don't mean that one should suggest physical fighting as a good solution to high school students but rather that it is interesting to discuss how Douglass stood up for himself against his oppression. Sorry -- I should have thought this answer out more carefully...i'll sign off now.
posted by Tylwyth Teg at 7:57 PM on May 19, 2011

That Larkin poem is awesome and totally what we had in mind. Swearing is fine - in fact, often it's helpful. :-)

I forgot that part in Douglass - good call!
posted by guster4lovers at 8:15 PM on May 19, 2011

How about the Everclear song, "Father of Mine"?
posted by DingoMutt at 8:18 PM on May 19, 2011

"Go Away" by Lydia Davis might be appropriate.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 8:19 PM on May 19, 2011

The song "Control" by Poe was what got me through a lot of rough times. Very "I will succeed and be happy despite your shitty treatment!"
posted by brilliantine at 8:25 PM on May 19, 2011

Chris Crutcher wrote a lot of books and some short stories about disfunctional familes and kids with anger issues. You could try "The Pin" in the collection Athletic Shorts (though I think it has a happier ending than is realistic) or look through Ironman for chapters.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:05 PM on May 19, 2011

You might check out the movie Precious.
posted by salvia at 10:15 PM on May 19, 2011

... which is neither a song nor a poem. Whoops.
posted by salvia at 10:16 PM on May 19, 2011

What about some Mountain Goats?

You Were Cool

The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton

posted by MsMolly at 9:46 PM on May 22, 2011

« Older A newspaper's issues (in more ways than one)   |   Where to next... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.