April 12, 2016

Friday, September 4, 2009

Poetry Friday -- Did I Miss Anything?

My kids are finally back in school. We've survived late night anxiety attacks, first-day jitters and a band class snafu. I've finally got some reliable time for writing and SCBWI chores.
I have to admit, I get nostalgic for school this time of year. It's been years since I was a classroom teacher. There's nothing like taking in a classroom full of hopeful faces for the first time.
If you're back in the classroom, Poetry 180 is a great resource for upper middle and high school teachers. Billy Collins' project when he was U.S. Poet Laureate, the site features a poem for each day of the high school year.
I loved this selection (#13), because it's in the teacher's point of view. You've gotta love the hyperbole.
Did I Miss Anything?
Tom Wayman
Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours
Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 percent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 percent
Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose
Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring the good news to all people
on earth.
Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?
(Secretly, don't we all want to believe that's true). Read the rest of the poem at Poetry 180.
Today's Poetry Friday host is Kelly Herold at Crossover. Kelly's also updating the hosting schedule at Big A, little a. (Think about volunteering to host -- it's fun).
Hope you're having a great Back to School, the kids are happy with the teachers and all you teachers are happy with your kids!


Tabatha said...

That's a favorite school poem of mine!

This is our first week of school, too. It's all good, but I am worn out.

Author Amok said...

Hi, Tabatha. I'm actually happy we had a short week (today off). It made going back to school an easier sell.

This poem is new for me. I *love* it! So smart.

Irene Latham said...

I recommend Collins' Poetry 180 ALL THE TIME. Some real gems there. Thanks for your reminder about the "Weather" poem! I'd forgotten about that one!

Author Amok said...

Hi, Irene. It's a great site. Wish he'd done something similar for elementary schoolers. If you search my archives, I posted an onomatopoeia lesson with "Weather" a few months ago.

Melissa said...

In appreciation for entries like these that so effortlessly join poetry and real life. :) Thank you.

Author Amok said...

Thanks, Melissa. Your comment was a nice cheer-up at the end of a long day!