The Idol's Mask
by Nandi Comer
Photo by Julianne Lindsey
Workshop Title: Inseparable
Start by watching the embedded video. Then briefly talk about the relationship between a luchador and their mask. Ask, “Why is the mask so important?”
Read “The Idol’s Mask” by Nandi Comer. When you’re done, briefly discuss how the speaker of the poem, a lucha libre mask, views itself and the relationship it holds with its luchador.
Say, “Take some time to think of other objects, people, or a mix of both that are ‘inseparable’ or ‘synonymous’ with one another. For example, you may say peanut butter & jelly, or a shoe and its laces. Be creative. After you’ve developed your list, choose one of those pairings and discuss what makes one complement the other so well, or why they’re inseparable from one another.”
Have your students write a poem like “The Idol’s Mask” that is written from the perspective of an inanimate object, a poem in which this object comments on the relationship it holds with whatever it is typically paired with.
When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.
Area of Focus: Various
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: figurative language, selection of detail, diction, and structure.
Watch the following video to give you some context behind the history of a “lucha libre mask.”
Before reading the poem, tell your students that the poem is written from the perspective of a lucha libre mask. Then read “The Idol’s Mask” by Nandi Comer aloud to your students. After reading the poem, ask them to try and determine the relationship between the mask and its luchador.
Have your students open the following document and go over the instructions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to have to write a “resume” for the lucha libre mask because, in this fake scenario, the mask has parted ways with his luchador. Then give your students time to work on the assignment.
When they’re done, ask them to share their responses with the rest of the group.
If time permits, share the exemplar essay and see if your students’ responses are somewhat similar in scope.
- Community / Culture
- Creativity / Imagination / Writing
- Figurative Language
- Selection of Detail