Archive for April 3rd, 2014

I am convinced that writing poetry is a gift from God. The magical words that float around my classroom amaze me.

I am also the mellifluous sound of a pencil writing on paper.

I know the title is confusing. Bad poetry? From Billy Collins? If you do not know the poem Litany by Billy Collins, then you must go to these sites and read or listen to it. Bet you can’t keep a straight face. In print on Poem Hunter.

Recited by a 3 year old on YouTube:

And…Billy Collins himself:

I explained to my students that Billy Collin’s poem was so bad it was good. They got that. Having primed them with this poem, I let them loose to borrow the structure, think outside the box, and create wildly creative metaphors. I was amazed by the results and would love to share them all. You can read them on our class blog: Slice of Life Challenge at kidblog.org.
The lurking line lifter struck in the wee hours of the morning, so read the comments, too.

I am excited about the poem I caught on this fishing trip. I was thinking about how writing poems together connects us.

Our Ship

We are all on this ship together
whether or not it sails.
We are side by side like the freckles on your mother’s face.
We are closer than the love bugs on the windshield.
You, and I, and he, and she.
We are not like the blown away balloons
at the 3 year old’s birthday party.
We are not the shavings of wood mulching the flower bed.
No, we are this way, that way,
you know what I mean,
intertwined like the vines of wisteria,
joined and connected, tumbling and reaching.
Give me your hand.
I will give you mine.
Let’s go on this voyage together.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved.

Vannisa wins the prize of being published on this blog with her poem. She just looked around the classroom and found metaphors galore.

Everything in the Classroom

You can be the air that comes through the vent
You can be the memory I regret
You can be the board I write messages to
You can be the painting that just sits
You can be the pencil sharpener, only useful when needed

As for I,
I could be the mechanical pencil that doesn’t need you
I could be the clip that makes you sit
I could be the eraser that deletes your notes
I could be the person who creates you, the memory I regret
I could be the thermostat, who shuts you down

–Vannisa, all rights reserved

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