Friday, May 29, 2015

Poetry Friday

I finished cleaning my classroom today and covering all my shelves for the summer.  Tomorrow my daughter is graduating.  I'm not up to posting today, but maybe next week.  Meanwhile, here's what everyone else posted.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

OLW 2015 Check-in

I saw a post on this blog encouraging people to report on how they are doing with their OLW (One Little Word).  Mine this year is "Unafraid."  How am I doing with it?  I have good days and bad days.  There are days when I really am unafraid, trusting, living in the moment.  There are other days when I dwell on the goodbyes to be said at the end of the summer, all that could go wrong, how we will all adjust next year with my daughter gone, in college, and how she will adjust.  Who will she be, living without us in a different country?  (How exciting/terrifying to think about!)  Who will I be without her?  (Not as high a percentage of exciting in that one.)

I've written on this blog before about how I actually worry less since the earthquake than I used to.  This transition so far has been more about grief than worry or fear.  But there is, I confess, a certain amount of fear of the unknown.  It has helped me to focus on this word, and on the kind of person I want to be, that completely unafraid person who is now mostly a figment of my imagination, but who may become more of a reality as I go along. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Poetry Friday, The Fear Factor

Yesterday I read Sara Holbrook's poem "The Fear Factor," from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School, with my seventh graders.  In the poem she addresses Courage, who always whispers, "Okay.  Okay.  It's going to be okay."

My favorite part is where the persona lists many things to fear, and then confesses (speaking to Courage) that the greatest one is: "I fear you will abandon me, / evaporate / and not return."

You can read the whole poem here, on Sara's own blog.

Today is my daughter's last regular day of high school.  Next week she has finals, leading up to graduation on Saturday.  I'm clinging to my own Courage, knowing (and yet sometimes doubting) that it's all going to be okay.  She's ready, we're ready (or faking it as well as we can), it's going to be okay. 

Here's today's roundup.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Poetry Friday

Another post-less week.  It's just that time of year.  But look at all the other great Poetry Friday offerings!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Poetry Friday

What with a bake sale today with my seventh graders and catching up on grading, I never got a post done.  But lots of others did, and you can see them here.  Happy Poetry Friday!

Friday, May 01, 2015

Poetry Friday: Another Open Mic and the Progressive Poem, Premiered

Yesterday afternoon we had another Open Mic event at school (here's my post about the one last week), and there's talk of making this a much more frequent occurrence next year.  There was a lot of interest among teachers and students alike, and it will be interesting to see if that could be sustained with a more regular schedule.  I think it could; the chance to perform your work is a great motivation to write more, and you also start to see people responding to what other people have done, so that we're having our own little part of the Great Conversation.

But what I wanted to tell about is that I performed the Progressive Poem for the group.  I think maybe it was the World Premiere, right there in our little library in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  It stood up very well to being read out loud, and got appreciative laughs at the end. 

I tend to be a private writer, not showing anybody my work until it's finished (and often, not even then).  I don't generally collaborate.  I find that writing for me is often about working out what I'm thinking about and putting it into a manageable form, creating something I can control in a world where I can't control much.  The Progressive Poem, however, is about giving up control.  It's about "living without a net," as our opening line put it.  And it's oddly exhilarating.

Thank you to Irene for organizing this every year.  Thank you for letting me participate.  And thanks to everyone who contributed a line.  See you all again next year!

Go here to Matt's blog to read the poem in its final form and - fabulous bonus - to hear Matt read it aloud!