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Practical Poetry Program: "Sentinels" (Single PDF Lesson Plan)

Practical Poetry Program: "Sentinels" (Single PDF Lesson Plan)


"Sentinels" is a serious poem about a universal theme: time. The poet uses imagery, symmetry, and vocabulary to set the tone of this reflection on time and timelessness. Rocks, stones, and mountains represent nature's attempt and evidence of enduring through time. The poet uses meter, repetition, and pattern as alternatives to rhyme for this somewhat thoughtful consideration regarding the nature of temporal reality.

"Sentinels" allows students to consider time from a much larger and epic perspective. It takes them beyond their own young life, beyond their parent's life, beyond history, beyond their normal consideration of time. And this, of course, generates more complex and interesting questions about time, questions they'll be facing in literature and their own lives. This poem can help open up a lot of deep, introspective, philosophical questions about life.

All of our lesson plans feature a unique three step process focusing on text elements, visual elements, and audio commentary, along with group discussions and written reflection essays designed to support high school ELA programs and curriculum through a practical, flexible, and unique natural growth process of teaching poetry.

by Frank Elkins ©2014


Ever Present –
Standing tall and proud,
majestically thrusting
toward heaven’s enduring arms.
Ever Diligent –
Guarding the gates of immortality;
stubbornly defying a close
to the infinite instant.
Ever Watching –
Hopelessly weathering the temporal storm,
destined to be ground into
the shifting sands of time –

Ever Present still.

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