My faith

I'm a Mormon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spring is coming!

DEAR March, come in!
How glad I am!
I looked for you before.
Put down your hat—
You must have walked—
How out of breath you are!
Dear March, how are you?
And the rest?
Did you leave Nature well?
Oh, March, come right upstairs with me,
I have so much to tell!

I got your letter, and the bird’s;
The maples never knew
That you were coming,—I declare,
How red their faces grew!
But, March, forgive me—
And all those hills
You left for me to hue;
There was no purple suitable,
You took it all with you.

Who knocks? That April!
Lock the door!
I will not be pursued!
He stayed away a year, to call
When I am occupied.
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come,
That blame is just as dear as praise
And praise as mere as blame.

I LOVE Emily Dickinson's poetry! Today, when I remembered it was March 1, this was the first thing that came to my mind! I don't want to wish time away, but I am so glad spring is coming. Although, here in Utah, we've probably got at least a few snow storms left before summer. (We often have freak snow storms in April, May, or sometimes even June!! Gotta love this Rocky Mountain weather!) Here I am with my kiddos last spring!

Anyway, I first came accross this poem in the Emily Dickinson: Poetry for Young People. I bought the entire series of Poetry for Young People while I was teaching school, and I have never regretted it! Shakespeare, Frost, Poe, Whitman, and even Lewis Carrol. And each poem has definitions of some of the more difficult or archaic words. Let's face it, one of the reasons poetry can be difficult to comprehend is because we don't use many of the same words!

Thinking about poetry reminds me of an activity I did with my 5th graders to help improve their reading fluency and expression. One of their reading assignments during guided reading rotations was for them to pick a poem (from The Highwayman to Shel Silverstein. They could pick ANYTHING!) Every Friday, we held a "Poetry Off." Everyone performed by reading their poem (they were NOT allowed to memorize) and I graded them on fluency (how fast they read), annunciation, volume (being loud enough to be heard) and expression. My students LOVED this!

Poetry is a great genre to read to your kids from a young age! Start with Mother Goose. The Girl loves my Emily Dickinson poems, especially "I'm Nobody." I adore Scranimals and Zoo Doings by Jack Prelutsky (who, in my opinion, is a better kid poet than Silverstein.) "Don't ever make the sad mistake of stepping on a sleeping snake. Because, his jaws might be awake!" (from Zoo Doings)

So, this post about spring has turned into a post about poetry. Ah, spring is so poetic! I guess that is fitting!

No comments: