Friday, September 04, 2020

Poetry Friday: English

Since I'm back in my classroom (today is our fourth day with kids), I decided to get today's poem from a book on my classroom shelf. This is from a dilapidated copy of Eleanor Farjeon's Poetry for Children, originally copyright 1926 (this edition is from 1951). The book has "Discard" written in red marker inside the front cover, but it seems to me that it still has some useful years left.




As gardens grow with flowers

English grows with words,

Words that have secret powers,

Words that give joy like birds.

Some of the words you say,

Both in and out of school,

Are brighter than the day,

And deeper than a pool.


Some words there are that dance,

Some words there are that sigh,

The fool's words come by chance,

The poet's to heaven fly.


When you are grown, your tongue

Should give the joys of birds;

Get while you are young

The gift of English words.


Eleanor Farjeon


Our school is doing hybrid learning, and I have lost half of my class time. Most years I teach two periods a day to each grade (seventh and eighth). They are called Reading and Writing, but as you can imagine, they intertwine a great deal. This year I have one period with each grade, and I also have sixth grade added. Plus my groups are different on different days, and Wednesday is a cleaning day, so we're all at home. (And I'm managing my online groups each day, too, as well as teaching the kids who are at school in person.)


I had resigned myself to giving up my daily poem habit - for now - but then I decided to compromise with PFAMS - The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School. I have to share the poems on Thursday and Friday, not just Friday, since I have different groups those two days, but I will at least have a weekly poem! 

I am so glad to be back in my classroom and to have kids here. Long may it last! 

Carol Varsalona has today's roundup. She's looking back on the summer, and has a beautiful gallery of poems and images.


jama said...

Good luck with the hybrid learning. Glad you're back in the classroom with your students. I am in awe of all the work, sacrifices, and ingenuity of teachers everywhere this fall.

Janice Scully said...

Good luck with school and I do hope it lasts. I loved the poem you shared, a celebration of words, and that's what you want to inspire, isn't it, a celebration of words in your children.

Linda B said...

Everyone I'm reading about or hearing from is doing something different, and of course, new! I'm glad you're seeing your students & yes, long may it last & long may we celebrate beautiful words. Best wishes to you, Ruth!

Carol Varsalona said...

Ruth, it is wonderful that you are meeting with your students again even though your schedule is different. I am sure your students will benefit from the poetry that you expose them to each week. I really enjoyed the poem from the discarded book and plan on keeping it my saved poems. Thank you for sharing it.

Kay said...

Good luck with the school year. My thoughts are with you and all the teachers, students and parents trying to find their way through this oh-so-different year. I'm glad you've found a place for a poem each week. I enjoyed the English Words you shared today.

laurasalas said...

As a former 8th-grade English teacher, I feel totally overwhelmed by your schedule. I love that you are taking it on with calm and style. You are a gift to your students, Ruth. Thanks for sharing this poem. My life would be so different if I hadn't fallen in love with words at a very young age...

Michelle Kogan said...

That sounds like quite a schedule you have Ruth, managing both in person and online students. You have a wonderful attitude! I'm glad you're trying to fit in some poetry. Thanks for sharing the airy, lovely poem, stay well.