Friday, June 23, 2017

Poetry Friday: Summer Dream

Last night I dreamed that I was back at school.

When I wrote that sentence, I realized two things.  One was that it made me think of Rebecca.  Google helped me find out that the opening sentence of that novel is "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

The second thing I realized was that my sentence was in iambic pentameter.  Before I knew it, I had written the first draft of a sonnet!

Writing is unpredictable.  The other day I sat down to write about my children, and summer, and it ended up being about the meaning of home and memory, and I cried, and typed, and deleted, and wrote for two hours, and produced six short paragraphs that had a few flashes of potential, but not a whole lot.  Today I wrote a sonnet in no time flat.  Something to remember when I go back to my classroom and face students whose writing progresses slowly.

It is way too early to be having stress dreams about school, but I did have fun writing this, and I'm happy to share it with you.  I hope your summer day is lovely and restful, or lovely and productive, depending on what's ahead of you today.

Summer Dream

Last night I dreamed that I was back at school,
The summer ended just as it’s begun.
Instead of resting calmly by a pool
I faced inspectors, glaring, every one.
They filed into the classroom, looking stern
Eager to find infractions everywhere
And I, instead of helping students learn
Sweated and fretted, squirming in my chair.
And in my dream I saw no student faces
Not bored or giggling, cheerful or morose.
Instead, there were sad grownups in their places
And disapproval wrinkled up each nose.

I was so happy when I woke today
And found I still have six more weeks to play!


Heidi has the roundup, so go see what yummy summer poems everyone is sharing!


jama said...

What a strange dream! Quite impressive that your first line turned out to be iambic pentameter. Sometimes we have to struggle and right through some things before our minds can really grab the essence of what we need to say. I suspect your initial labors helped you produce that wonderful sonnet. :)

Linda B said...

There has to be a public place for this, Ruth. It is perfect, a dream "deferred", and now I'm quoting other poems. Your realization of the line from Rebecca, and on makes quite a terrific intro too. And the ending, "whew!".

Mrs. Wyman said...

A sad reality in some areas. Thank you for reminding those of us who don't have "inspectors" that visit, that we have it good! And iambic pentameter...BRAVO! Christie @

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Oh, sweating and fretting with nothing but sad grown-ups filling the room! A nightmare indeed, and so glad you woke up with that Friday evening feeling all over again.

Let's go with lovely and prodestful, shall we? It's so nice to have the TIME to really enjoy each person's post!

Kay said...

This dream sounds like a nightmare--alas, one that is too true for too many teachers and schools. I hope you have a summer of renewal and no noses wrinkled in disapproval when you return to school!

Brenda Harsham said...

I often find that the more time I spend pounding flat words one day, the more easily they flow once my dreams sort them out. Both events are necessary, I think, the pounding and the dreaming.

Tabatha said...

Love it when the poems come out before you know it!

Heidi's "prodestful" is an interesting word...

Violet Nesdoly said...

How perfectly flowing and natural this sounds. I think it was sitting in the air, ready-made, just waiting for you to pull it in and transfer it to paper (or your computer). Even after many years away from teaching, I still sometimes have dreams about it. Always I am falling short and stressed.

Carol Varsalona said...

Dreams are so strange, Ruth, and this one is no exception. Imagine have wrinkled up noses looking at you. I had fun writing about my strange dreams ( and Kevin Hodgson turned it into a video poem. Time for you to play...

Mary Lee said...

You definitely made lemonade with this one! I had all kinds of stress dreams the first week after school was out this year. It's like it had built up and needed to leak out until the stress-well was dry. I'm sleeping just fine now, and I hope you are, too! Happy summer!

Jane @ said...

Oh no, hopefully a few weeks of summer vacation will help ease the stressful dreams! I remember having nightmares about exams for years after I finished university, and through those stressful days were long behind me!

michelle kogan said...

I'm glad you woke up from the dream and hope the inspectors don't come back for another visit. Though this was a vivid and powerful sonnet. Enjoy your weeks ahead!

Catherine said...

Stress dreams about school are the worst! Glad yours ended happily and hope your six weeks are filled with fun and relaxation.