Archive for March 29th, 2012

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Teaching poetry and writing poetry can be frustrating and hard.  We struggle together trying to make our words sound right.  Yesterday I tried to write a rhyming poem about writing poems.  I got advice from my students. When I read it to them, they smiled apologetically as if they were saying, “I love you, Mrs. Simon, but that poem’s no good.”

So I tried a “Where I’m From” poem, the form inspired by George Ella Lyon.  My after school kids were successful, and they cheered at mine.  So we are sharing them with you.

Where I’m From

I am from ladder-back chairs around the kitchen table,
from Ding-Dongs and ham sandwiches in a baggie.

I am from the back porch swing and telling stories,
from tall pine trees, St. Augustine grass, and the Sycamore.

I’m from “Bless this food,”
music in the left hand,
from Dorothy and John.

I ‘m from dinner at the dining table, and Tiger football,
from “sit up like a person,” and “elbows off the table.”
I’m from cornbread dressing, green peas, and pecan pie.

I’m from the river overflow of the great Mississippi
to the barge on the bayou,
Southern girl with Southern strength,
holding on to time.

Where I’m From
by Grace

I am from healthy foods, Dial soap, and Crest toothpaste.
I am from a field of sugarcane, growing tall and sweet.

I am from an old oak in the back,
azaleas in the front, irises around the pond.

I am from opening one present on Christmas Eve
and blond moments with Donna and Mallory.

I am from Sunday mass at eleven and
lots of football watching.

I am from “Keep your elbows off the table,”
and “Shoot fire!”

I am from fights with my dad over Oreos, and
with my mom and sister over artichokes.

I live in a big white house surrounded by love and
more animals than most people I know.

Where I’m From
by Darby

I am from the Lazyboy couch,
from biscuits and bacon.

I am from the flower garden with bright summer colors,
from wine vineyards and orange trees.

I am from the math wizards, Stanley and Kory.

I am from Sunday Catholic church.
I am from always use your manners
to the Golden Rule.

I am from the pizza eaters.
I am from always finding the bright side of life.

(Quote of the day from Darby when we were making pre-writing lists: “I like to write poems, but I don’t like to think about them.”)

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