Ode to Dalya's Bald Spot

by Angel Nafis

Photo by Niqui Carter

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Blemish

Step 1

Have your students watch the embedded video to give them a bit of context to the poem they are about to read. Then have them discuss how living with such a disease might affect their day to day lives.

Step 2

Read the poem “Ode to Dalya’s Bald Spot” by Angel Nafis. Then talk about the poet’s perspective on her sister’s disease.

Step 3

Have your students think of something – not necessarily a disease – that others may consider a “hardship,” but they are able to find a sense of beauty or strength in.

Step 4

Have your students write a poem in which they focus on something that would – in the traditional sense – be a source of discomfort, but have them write about it in such a way that focuses on the positive aspects or beauty behind it.

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: Various

Step 1

This lesson allows students to analyze various concepts and skills, so it is recommended that you have covered several of the “standalone” lessons before assigning this one. The prominent literary devices & techniques that this particular poem includes are: tone, diction, selection of detail, and figurative language.

Step 2

Read “Ode to Dalya’s Bald Spot” by Angel Nafis. Then discuss the meanings she attributes to the bald spot and her sister’s illness. Have them discuss the text and what contributes to the poet’s message.

Step 3

Have your students open the document that they’ll be working in. Then go over the instructions with them. Give your students time to complete the assignment. They may work in pairs if they wish.

Step 4

When they are done, go over a few of their responses aloud.

Step 5

Show your students the exemplar essay so they can see how similar their responses were to the original essay.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Body / Body Image
  • Family
  • Health / Health Care / Illness
  • Love

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Selection of Detail
  • Tone