Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cheating on the Poetry Stretch

Since I don't have grading to do, I wanted to participate in one of Miss Rumphius' poetry stretches. So here's what she posted this week. She gave a list of words: snow, frozen, wind, evening, woods, lake, village, farmhouse. The challenge is to take those words and put them in a poem.

When I read that list, all I could think of was Robert Frost, who used all those words already in a most wonderful poem. And then I remembered, hey yeah, I already wrote a parody of that poem. I could post that!

It's not really stretching, as Miss Rumphius intended. And it doesn't even use all the words. In short, it is not following the assignment, and probably my grade will be docked. Ah, well.

I wasn't really grading essay tests on Robert Frost when I wrote this about a year ago. I've never, in fact, given an essay test on Robert Frost. But I just couldn't resist the last line. And since I've just emerged from a period of much grading, and many other teachers are still in it, I think it's appropriate.

On Grading Essay Tests on Robert Frost

Whose work this is I think I know
No name is on the paper, though.
The only clue I have - a scrawl
That I can barely read at all.
And this one seems to think it's great
Never once to punctuate.
And this kid turned aside his head
And didn't hear a word I said.
Oh yes, folks say, you ought to teach -
Just think of all the kids you'll reach!
But I say, friend, just picture you
The night before the grades are due
When you've a mound of essay tests
And a red pen which never rests
And no, your students didn't get it,
And the assignment? No one read it.
Your lesson plans were all in vain
Your life is going down the drain
The only sound's a quiet tear
That splashes into your root beer
The saddest evening of the year.
Oh, how I wish that I were lost
In snowy woods with Robert Frost!
Or better yet, he'd think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near,
But at my classroom I could drop him.
Yes, he could have my job - I'd swap him.
I'd ride off on his little horse
And leave Bob Frost to teach my course;
Let him teach poems to my class -
Then maybe more of them would pass.
I'd say to him, "You're just the guy
To take the road less traveled by!
Come, be a teacher, sir," I'd say,
And hope he wouldn't run away.
But no, for sadly, Frost is dead
And all this work is mine instead.
The tests are piled, test on test,
And I must grade them 'ere I rest.
My bed is lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And piles to grade before I sleep
And piles to grade before I sleep.


Amy said...

Very creative--even if it wasn't quite following the assignment.

Oh, and you should check back here.

Anonymous said...

Okay, you officially have permission to mock the politically correct parody I posted of "Night Before Christmas." Your mockery is funnier (and rythmically consistent. :-)

Ruth said...

Thanks, Amy. You answered my comment! :-)

Janet, I wasn't mocking, I was absolutely sincere! I thought those rhymes were funny! Honest!