Where I’m From #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Catherine at Reading to the Core is our hostess this week. She has a wonderful preview of the latest in Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong’s Poetry Friday Anthology series, Great Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud. I, for one, can’t wait to see this collection IRL and share with my principal. This will be the first year we have Morning Announcements and I think a copy will make the perfect gift for her. Don’t you? Congratulations to Catherine, who also has a poem in the book, “Walking for a Cause.” Hooray!

During the summer months, many educators are reading Sara K. Ahmed’s brilliant book Being The Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension (Heinemann, 2018). In her chapter “Exploring Our Identities,” Sara suggests having students craft their own “Where I’m From” poems, featuring details about their identity. This idea originally stemmed from George Ella Lyon’s poem “Where I’m From.” (You can read more about Lyon’s original poetry challenge here.) What a wonderful exercise for students to focus in on what has been meaningful to them in their lives, and has helped shape their identity.

I’ve been playing around with this challenge all summer, digging deep into the memories of my childhood. There are so many! Which to use? These are the handful that rose to the top of the heap.

I_m from
I’m from
Bleacher seats in Fenway Park
Scribbling box scores
On my father’s knee
Sandcastles carefully crafted
On the beaches of
Peaks Island and Dennis
The backseat of an unairconditioned blue 60s Chevy
Crayons melting in the back window
Chugging from coast to coast
On an adventure filled with memories to last a lifetime
I’m from the bottom of a tin bucket filling up
Kerplink kerplunk
With lowbush blueberries
Coated in salty Boothbay air
Drifting across the gut
That secret opening in the woods
Along Stony Brook
Where moss is damp and cool on a hot summer day
And the hope of fairy spotting lives on
A classroom in the basement
Teaching stuffed animals and anyone who’d listen
Rehearsing for today, tomorrow
I’m from roots sunk deep
In Scottish peat
Slathered in haggis and thick cut orange marmalade
A wee dram for good measure

If you’ve tried a “Where I’m From,” I’d love to hear about your journey!

 

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Thanks for visiting and join us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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Butterfly Dances #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday the 13th, everyone! Sylvia Vardell at Poetry For Children is our gracious hostess this fine Friday. Don’t miss her exciting news about the latest addition to the Poetry Friday Anthology series, Great Morning! Poetry for School Leaders to Read Aloud. I can’t wait to gift a copy to my principal for use during our new all-school Morning Mindful Moments and school meetings. So many of our Poetry Friday friends are featured in this collection. Bravo!

My poetic muse up and left me during the final weeks of the school year, but she’s back! She flittered and fluttered her way back into my psyche as I watered one of my garden beds the other morning. I planted milkweed seeds back in the spring in hopes of attracting monarchs, and had completely forgotten about them until I returned from a week’s vacation. Not only were the milkweeds there, but the visitors I’d been hoping for had arrived. Bee balm is also on their menu, too.

The seeds for this tanka came to me as I watched this beauty dance in celebration of summer’s bountiful pollinator feast. Now I’m on egg watch!

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butterfly dances joyfully from stem to stem gathering nectar from midsummer’s bright blossoms if you plant it they will come

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I hope you’ll join Sylvia and the rest of us for some Poetry Friday fun today!

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