Poetry Friday

My new favorite poem is from Ellen Hopkins, written for Banned Book Week.

Manifesto by Ellen Hopkins


You say you’re afraid for children,

innocents ripe for corruption

by perversion or sorcery on the page.

But sticks and stones do break

bones, and ignorance is no armor.

You do not speak for me,

and will not deny my kids magic

in favor of miracles.

Read the rest here.

Poetry Friday

My students handed in their multi-genre poetry anthologies this week and I am enjoying reading them.  One of the requirements was to include at least three “choice” pieces- poems, songs, quotes, short excerpts from memoirs and stories, etc.  One of my students included the following poem and it really tugged at my heartstrings.

POEM OF A NEGLECTED DOG

I wish someone would tell me
What it is I have done wrong,
And why I must be chained outside
And left alone so long.

They seemed so glad to have me
When I came here as a pup,
There were so many things we’d do
While I was growing up.

The master said he’d train me
As a companion and a friend,
The mistress said she’d never fear
To be alone again.

The children said they’d feed me
And brush me everyday,
They’d play with me and walk me
If I would only stay.

But now the master hasn’t time
The mistress says I shed,
She won’t allow me in the house
Not even to be fed.

The children never walk me
They always say, “not now!”,
I do wish I could please them
Can someone tell me how?

All I had, you see, was love
I wish someone would explain
Just why the said they wanted mine
And then left it on a chain……

Author Unknown

Poetry Friday

Popping in quickly to share one of my all-time favorite poems (introduced to me by a fellow blogger last year!).  We just began our poetry unit in school and it’s been a huge success.  I’ll blog more about that later!

Each year I begin by giving each of my students a packet of poems.  They are all by “cool” poets, I tell them- Walter Dean Myers, Valerie Worth, Eloise Greenfield, Jack Prelutsky, and many more.  My favorite is the last poem in the packet, by Kate DiCamillo.

 

Snow, Aldo

By Kate DiCamillo

Once, I was in New York,
in Central Park, and I saw
an old man in a black overcoat walking
a black dog. This was springtime
and the trees were still
bare and the sky was
gray and low and it began, suddenly,
to snow:
big fat flakes
that twirled and landed on the
black of the man’s overcoat and
the black dog’s fur. The dog
lifted his face and stared
up at the sky. The man looked
up, too. “Snow, Aldo,” he said to the dog,
“snow.” And he laughed.
The dog looked
at him and wagged his tail.

If I was in charge of making
snow globes, this is what I would put inside:
the old man in the black overcoat,
the black dog,
two friends with their faces turned up to the sky
as if they were receiving a blessing,
as if they were being blessed together
by something
as simple as snow
in March.

Poetry Friday

This week I altered a lesson from Comprehension Connections: Bridges to Strategic Reading by Tanny McGregor to practice with our schema. The lesson involved listening to a song, reading the lyrics, and jotting our text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections on a graphic organizer. I had never heard the song before but I loved it and wanted to share a bit.

Rachel Delevoryas

(Randy Stonehill, from Wonderama [Stonehillian/Word, 1992])

Rachel Delevoryas

With her thick eye glasses and her plain Jane face

Sat beside me in my fifth grade class

Looking so terribly out of place

Rachel played the violin

And classical music was out of style

She couldn’t control all her wild brown hair

Her nervous laughter and her awkward smile and

CHORUS • It was clear that she’d never be one of us

With her dowdy clothes

And her violin

And a name like Rachel Delevoryas

 

Read the rest here.

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

Happy Independence Day!

For Poetry Friday, I decided to include a little Bruce Springsteen.  The Boss grew up in my area and still lives here today, so he is a hometown hero.

Independence Day (Bruce Springsteen)

Well papa go to bed now it’s getting late
Nothing we can say is gonna change anything now
Ill be leaving in the morning from st. marys gate
We wouldn’t change this thing even if we could somehow
`cause the darkness of this house has got the best of us
There’s a darkness in this town that’s got us too
But they can’t touch me now and you can’t touch me now
They aint gonna do to me what I watched them do to you

So say goodbye it’s independence day
Its independence day all down the line
Just say goodbye it’s independence day
Its independence day this time

Now I don’t know what it always was with us
We chose the words and yeah we drew the lines
There was just no way this house could hold the two of us
I guess that we were just too much of the same kind

Well say goodbye it’s independence day
All boys must run away come independence day
So say goodbye it’s independence day
All men must make their way come independence day

read the rest here

Have a great holiday!

Dolphins, Poetry, and Madeline L’Engle

Picture from Asbury Park Press

some text

The big news in my area is that a pod of coastal dolphins has been spending their time in a local river and estuary. At first, officials were worried that they were offshore dolphins, which would present a problem because they don’t have a food source in the area. However, today it was confirmed that they are coastal dolphins and have been feasting on the abundance of bunker in the river! Now, officials are keeping an eye on them and hoping they make their way back to the ocean before the July 4th holiday, when the river will be crowded with boats.

They have been attracting quite a crowd and last night I headed down to try and see them. I did not spot them, but today my mother and sister were lucky enough to spend some time down by the river. They counted 8 dolphins, including a few young ones, and even saw them leaping from the water! I am extremely jealous, needless to say.

Dolphins have always been my favorite animals. Their intelligence, love, and compassion can be seen when they interact with each other in the wild. Because of my affinity for dolphins, Madeline L’Engle’s A Ring of Endless Light has always been a particular favorite of mine. To borrow from Amazon’s summary, “Vicky Austin is filled with strong feelings as she stands near Commander Rodney’s grave while her grandfather, who himself is dying of cancer, recites the funeral service. Watching his condition deteriorate as the summer passes on beautiful Seven Bay Island is almost more than Vicky can bear. To complicate things, she finds herself the center of attention for three very different boys: Leo is an old friend wanting comfort and longing for romance; Zachary, whose attempted suicide inadvertently caused the Commander’s death, is attractive and sophisticated but desperately troubled; and Adam, her older brother’s friend, offers her a wonderful chance to assist in his experiments with dolphins but treats her as a young girl just when she’s ready to feel most grown-up. Called upon to be dependable, stable, and wise, Vicky is exhilarated but often overwhelmed. Forces of darkness and light, tragedy and joy, hover about her, and at times she doesn’t know which will prevail.” A Newbery Honor book in 1980, this is my favorite L’Engle novel.

While looking out into the river, I was reminded of the Henry Vaughan’s famous poem, “The World”, which plays a vital part in the story. A perfect addition to Poetry Friday, I decided to present the first stanza using Wordle.

Read the rest of the poem here.

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