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Poetry Activity: Catcher in the Rye

(Activity from English Adventures with Mrs. Schulze)
Compose a series of poems and/or songs in the voices of characters from The Catcher in the Rye (listed below). (You may want to imagine that you have been hired to turn the novel into a musical or even a modern opera).

Picture the character at a specific moment in the novel. Imagine what he/she is thinking and feeling at that moment about Holden, about that present time and place, about his/her life. What is the character hoping or fearing or regretting? What is the character looking at or hearing, and what does it cause him/her to think about?

The title for each poem/song should contain the character’s name and at least one prep phrase indicating where or when that character is speaking (e.g. “Holden Caulfield in his room at the Edmont”.) Be creative. The scene can extend beyond the literal settings of the novel (e.g. “D.B. in his jaguar on the way to visit Holden”). The scene can occur before or after an actual moment in the novel (e.g. “Horwitz in his cab after Holden leaves”).

The poem/song does not have to be long, but it should communicate clearly the thought or mood of that character at that moment in a voice and language appropriate to that character. The poems should be presented in chronological order.


Level C Basic Understanding
Level B Application
Level A Critical Analysis

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