Student Poetry Month: Inanimate Objects Poems

I interviewed Laura Purdie Salas about her new book IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT in March. That interview is HERE.


Then I had an opportunity to work with a fourth grade class. We made a list of classroom inanimate objects. I am featuring their poems all week.

Organized calendar
I’m as smart as a 7th grader
flip, count, mark
you know what day it is
Time keeper

~Tim, 4th grade

Majestic American Flag
We are strong as a bald eagle
Strong, brave, huge
Best
my country flag

~Kelton

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Poetry Friday: RIP, Mary Oliver


Thank you to Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for hosting Poetry Friday this week.

I don’t know about you, but my heart was saddened to hear the news of Mary Oliver’s passing today.

One of my treasured gifts last June was FELICITY by Mary Oliver. A recorded interview about the book can be founded HERE.

Besides the natural world that she has explored so often, in FELICITY Oliver explores the mysteries of the heart.

There are so many lines to consider in this book:

“I have refused to live
locked in the orderly house of
reasons and proofs.” (The World I Live In)

“All the important ideas must include the trees,
the mountains, and the rivers.

To understand many things you must reach out
of your condition.” (Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way)

“Do you bow your head when you pray or do you look
up at the blue space?

…Rumi said, “There is no proof of the soul.
But isn’t the return of spring and how it
springs up in our hearts a pretty good hint?” (Whistling Swans)

And finally this:

Humility

Poems arrive ready to begin.
Poets are only the transportation.

Thank you, Mary Oliver, for transporting poems to the world all these years. You will be missed. Your voice will remain.

Poetry Friday: Summer Swaps

IMG_1077Thank you Tara for hosting Poetry Friday at A Teaching Life today.

It’s summer and thanks to Tabatha Yeatts, I get write and send poems out to participants during the summer.  I also receive little packages of poems.

Last week or so I received a joy bundle from Joy.  Not only did it have this fun poem(and words to live by), but a cool little surfboard for my mobile (how did she know), a letter, one of her grownup poems and an envelope with words to create my own poem.  Thank you, Joy.

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This week, I was blessed with this treasure tote bag from Donna in Maine.  The photo is mine and she wrote a poem to go with it.  I am using this tote tomorrow to deliver four photos to the Clackamas County Fair.  Thanks, Donna.

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This supports our community of writers so much.  It’s so fun to create.  I have two more to send out before the end of summer.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry

Poetry Friday: Congratulations, Margaret Simon

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This weekend, many of my online poet friends are gathered at the annual NCTE conference. Some year, I’m going to get there to hang out with my people.

This year one of those friends is receiving the Donald H. Graves Award. What an accomplishment. So deserved.

I love reading her blog, Reflections on the Teche. It’s rich with student poems, her poems, and celebrations.

Margaret was in Washington last summer. I love the first line of this poem. Clouds do keep you guessing in this part of the country.

Deception Pass, Whidbey Island, July, 2014

The clouds always keep us guessing,
so you have to know the tides.

Deception is easy, looking only
at the horizon line. Sometimes masked as a cloud,

the snow-topped mountain in the distance
deceives us, too.

The rocky beach becomes my foot hold,
a path of colorful stones washed smooth

by the constant lapping of the water.
I close my eyes to the salty air, listen

to the hum-swish of waves crashing the shore,
hear in them the possibility of danger.

Guided by the presence of the moon,
the sea gives and takes.

In the grit on my tongue, I can taste
the unleavened bread of sacrifice.

Be still and know is all I must do.
Marvel at the wonders of rock and air and sea.

Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

Thank you, Margaret, for all that you do for students and the poetry community.
Poetry Friday is hosted by Becky at Tapestry of Wordsa.

Happy Friday.
Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: From Dead Poet’s Society

20140729-185933.jpg Today Heidi is hosting Poetry Round-up at My Juicy Little Universe. I am saddened by the passing of Robin Williams as have many.  Just a few weeks ago, I re-watched Dead Poet’s Society…And so today in his memory I share O Me! O Life! (From The Poetry Foundation)

O Me! O Life!

BY WALT WHITMAN

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
                                       Answer.
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
This poem is even more haunting with his passing.  And the movie, timeless.
Thankful for the Poetry Friday community where we may all contribute a verse.
Happy Friday.
Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: “Sound Waves” by Amy VanDerwater

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On Wednesday, Amy stopped by to have tea and talk about her award winning book, FOREST HAS A SONG. Today she’s backed with a poem published in the POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY for SCIENCE.
Listen to Amy read her poem:

Sound Waves

If you have ever seen the ocean
throwing cold waves from her hand
pulling shells from mighty depths
tossing each upon wet sand,
you can understand how sound waves
move like water through dry air.
One-by-one, vibrations follow
pressing sounds from here-to-there.
Sounds can pass through liquids.
Through gases. Solids too.
But sounds waves moving through the air
are sound waves meant for you.
Violin or thunderstorm —
each will reach your waiting ear
to play upon a tiny drum.
This is how you hear.

© Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Poetry Friday is held at Rogue Anthropologist. Thanks, Kara.

Happy Friday.
Happy Poetry.