I let the flies bite me when I meditate

by Nick Demske

Photo by Scott Anderson

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Sacrifice

Step 1

Say, “What’s a positive quality of yours that you feel you have an “abundance” of? If you were able to impart that quality to others, would you? Explain.” Then give your students time to discuss.

Step 2

Read “I let the flies bite me when I meditate” by Nick Demske. When you’re done, briefly discuss the message that the speaker is trying to impart and how the speaker is able to convey it.

Step 3

Give your students a bit of time to think of the concept of sacrifice. Ask them, “What should people be willing to sacrifice to make our society a better place?” Then have them write down as many things as possible to get them started.

Step 4

Ask your students to write a poem similar in sentiment to “I let the flies bite me when I meditate” that addresses the subjects of sacrifice and equity.

Step 5

When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.

The full presentation may be found HERE.

Analytical Lesson

Area of Focus: Imagery

Step 1

If your students are not familiar with the concept of “imagery,” go through the introductory lesson.

Step 2

Have your students watch the following video, a brief overview and discussion of the concepts of equity and equality.

Step 3

When the video is done, read “I let the flies bite me when I meditate” by Nick Demske. After you’ve gone through the poem, simply ask your students how the poem relates to the concept of “equity.”

Step 4

Have your students open the following document and go over the introduction and directions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to analyze the imagery of the poem and attempt to move away from the common phrasing issue “the writer uses imagery to paint a picture in the readers’ mind.” Then give your students time to work on the assignment.

Step 5

When your students are done, have them share the images that they found that reiterate the imagery from the poem. Then have them share their “revisions” to the faulty “paint a picture” statements.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Imagery


  • Appreciation
  • Community / Culture
  • Creativity / Imagination / Writing
  • Family
  • Food / Hunger
  • Health / Health Care / Illness
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Philosophy

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Imagery
  • Selection of Detail