Poetry Friday

Earlier this week, I shared the following poem with my class.  It really hit home with them and we read it a few times over the last few days.  It brings tears to my eyes every single time.

 

from. . . Unleashed: Poems by Writers’ Dogs,
Edited by Amy Hempel and Jim Shepard. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1995.
   

Shelter
R. SJones
   

 

You paused outside
to look into my cage.
I tried to play it right
wanting to catch your eye
with a shy glint in my own,
a soft bark,
that said, “Choose me,”
in a canine grammar
I hoped you’d understand.
Your face held nothing
(Pity maybe)
that let me believe
you would ever want
a dog like me.
You turned once,
twice,
a hundred times,
coming and going
the length of my cage.
(Coming and going
like you do now,
ten times a day.)
Then walked away.
I could not stand another day of
strangers coming to stare.
Passing me over for younger dogs who
knew too little to have the strange
look of longing
I could not keep from my eyes.
I could not stand another night
alone in that place
the cracked cement floor
the howls and whines that kept
me sleepless
(Did you know that sound is still the
one I hear
when you wake me kicking from dreams
sleeping in your bed?)
   

To read the rest, be sure to pick up the amazing compilation of poems written from the poets’ pets’ viewpoint.

 

 

 

 


Poetry Friday

It was supposed to snow today.  Instead, we got rain, slush, and sleet.

 

I would have preferred the snow!

 

While looking for a poem for Poetry Friday, I fell in love with this short but sweet ditty.

 

Winter Twilight  
by Anne Porter
On a clear winter's evening
The crescent moon 

And the round squirrels' nest
In the bare oak 

Are equal planets.

Poetry Friday

For this week’s Poetry Friday I decided to do a meme I have seen floating around the internet.  I love music and poetry, and this seemed to combine the two in a fun way.

 

“Be Pete Wentz” Meme
Put your player on shuffle.
The first lines of the first twenty songs that come up are your “poem/song”
The 21st line is the title.

 

I don’t get many things right the first time


You say you’ve turned it off,
I’ll take you just the way you are.
I dont know why I act the way I do,
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.

Baby look at me,
Walking along beneath the lights of that miracle mile.
I set out on a narrow way many years ago,
I said I wanna touch the earth.

I see your face in my mind as I drive away,
Tired of my beeper, tired of my phone.
Katie you’re a brave girl, and I know its only just started.
Pray God you can cope.

Today was the worst day, I went through hell,
the holidays are here again, the world is white with snow.
It’s astounding, time is fleeting
By the look in your eyes I can tell you’re gonna cry.

Oh, why you look so sad?
This boy here wants to move too fast,
Another summer day
There’s a blue rockin’ chair, sittin’ in the sand.

Poetry Friday

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am still recovering from a wonderful meal with family and plenty of shopping today.  A quick poem for Poetry Friday is definitely in order, especially one for the season.

 

The Harvest Moon  
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It is the Harvest Moon!  On gilded vanes
  And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
  And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
  Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
  And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
  Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
  With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
  Of Nature have their image in the mind,
  As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The song-birds leave us at the summer's close,
  Only the empty nests are left behind,
  And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.

Poetry Friday

I first heard this poem when James Howe read an excerpt at the TC Reunion.  His reading brought tears to my eyes, as he explained that Marie Howe wrote the poem to her brother after he passed away from AIDS.

 

WHAT THE LIVING DO

by Marie Howe

 

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.

And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up

 

waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.

It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through

 

the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.

For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,

 

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those

wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

 

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.

Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.

 

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want

whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss–we want more and more and then more of it.

 

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,

say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep

 

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:

I am living. I remember you.

 

From The Atlantic

Where I’m From poems

Read this document on Scribd: Where I’m From poems

I absolutely love beginning the year with “Where I’m From” poems, a lesson inspired by George Ella Lyons. It’s not an easy assignment by any means but my students always rise to the occasion, with some prodding by me. I love these poems because learn so much about my students when reading their poems. You see what is important to them, what their families are like, and what makes them happy. They are a clear window into their lives.

Where I’m From poem template -Check it out!

Read this document on Scribd: Where I’m From poems

Last year, I developed a template for my students to follow, which helped their poems become much deeper. On Friday we started the poems with this year’s class and so far I am extremely impressed. We should finish them up next week, and I can’t wait to hang them up for Back to School Night!

Poetry in Middle School?

Does anyone use Naming the World: A Year of Poems and Lessons
by Nancie Atwell? I want to start introducing poetry and I think what I have seen of this book would help me make great Do-Nows (instead of DOL). However, I can not find a copy anywhere! I can’t afford to spend full-price on the Heinemann site, there are no copies at Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and even Half.com is too expensive. But how do I know if it will work for me if I can’t page through it first?! This is what frustrates me about professional books.

So, does anyone have any experience with Naming the World: A Year of Poems and Lessons by Nancie Atwell? How is it? Do you like it? Do you want to get rid of a cheap copy? ;) Thanks!

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