My friend posted a link on Facebook that took me to “Life While You Wait” by Wislawa Szymborska. I’d never read it before and loved it so much I stopped what I was doing so I could write it in my notebook. Then I wrote a page about why the poet reached into my heart this morning. That thinking led me to think about my mother who’s been gone over a year now. Bittersweet.
Then I explored a bit, and clicked the link that took me to “Possibilities,” and I pulled the cap off my pen again. I copied the poem in my journal as I listened to Amanda Palmer read it. then I wrote notes on how I might use this poem with my students. I could use it as a mentor text and ask students to write their own “Possibilities,” or I can use it the first week of school (maybe even the first day), and we’ll write a class poem. I like this idea best.
After we write a few lines together, I’ll give each student a line, maybe two, and ask him to think about what the poet does with language there: compare and contrast, advice, internal rhyme, repetition, personification, etc. Then, they will write their own lines, modeled after the poet’s.
We’ll piece our lines together and see what we come up with. Collaborative-type writing on the first day of school…with a poem. Might set the tone for the school year quite nicely.
My simple act of writing beside poetry gifted me with emotion and ideas this morning.
There are a million other ways that poems can bless us with inspiration to write, think, learn, change, mature, grow. . . and teach. Join us for #poetrychat and give and receive.
Questions for our chat:
1. What are you writing this summer?
2. How does poetry inspire you to write?
3. Who is your favorite poet to turn to for inspiration? or what is your favorite poem?
4. What poems inspire your students to write? Any no fail poems out there?
5. Please share links to your own poems and/or other writing.
Tagged: Readers Writers Workshop
So glad you listened to, and loved, the Szymborska poems. I go back to her work time and again and find so much meaning there. Hoping to find time to pop in for #poetrychat on Monday. I love your idea for the first day of school. Reminds me of something Linda Reif writes about in “Read, Write, Teach” that she does the beginning of each year. GMTA! Thanks for sharing your reflection on the poems and how you plan to use this in class with students.
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