229. i thought i knew/i don’t want: Elisabeth Hewer

Why do we deny the truth when it is not only staring us in the face, but punching us in the nose over and over and over? When my son was two years old he had a seizure.  After the first doctor visit I was in denial.  For two weeks he was falling down and... Continue Reading →

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227. An American Sunrise: Joy Marjo

My mother always said that I thought too big. My voice is this blog and my teaching, both of which are unremarkable (in my mind).  Yet, I remind myself daily of the novels that have no publisher, the teacher recognition I do not earn or the public policy I am subjected to because I dare... Continue Reading →

226. Flag Salute: Esther Poper

My wife was preparing her unit on the Harlem Renaissance and I came up short--I could only name about three artists involved.  Now, I can't name that many writers from most literary movements, but when I called up Wikipedia I was at a loss to even recognize names beyond Hughes or Hurston (so, really, two names).... Continue Reading →

224. Enough: Suzanne Buffam

Suzanne Buffam's Enough", along with Victorian poet Arthur Symons "April Midnight", was the choice of our local high school's Poetry Out Loud representative, Casey Ober.  She went to the state competition and made the Top 10 regional finalists. What was most interesting, in the interview I read, was her passion for the poem.  Ober enjoyed... Continue Reading →

220. Good Bones: Maggie Smith

What makes something go viral? It's a good question to ask your students.  If you ask them about "Literature with a capital 'L'" they won't know what you're talking about.  Classics?  Old books?  Books librarians shove in your hand, that have gold seals on them and are not good but good for you?  Personally, I... Continue Reading →

217. A Word on Statistics: Wislawa Szyborska

I love data more than I do poetry. When I read poetry, I find it intellectually rigorous. I like to do analysis. Or break it down and see how it works. The idea of meter and rhyme and how it comes together--supports the underlying theme--is fascinating. Writing poetry is hard. Poets are builders. Elegant builders.... Continue Reading →

215. Fire Safety: Joshua Mehigan

Another poem exploring safety, from our year-long look at Maslow (each stage a unit). Three things to take away: First, how does Mehigan capture an everyday object? Why use such a ubiquitous object as the subject of a poem? After looking at this poem, ask students the next day if they noticed the fire extinguishers... Continue Reading →

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