Interview: Wanderer: A Hockey Story author Tom Triumph

About the Author Tom Triumph is the author of several titles, some adult and some young adult.  In his writing, this is his first attempt at the sports genre, although he loves sports movies of all stripes.  Although his sport of choice is long distance running (more of a slow, heavy slog), he appreciates a... Continue Reading →


Crown of Sonnets/Heroic Crown of Sonnets

In asking my students to make crowns, I realize the origin of monarchy--good crown makers are hard to come by. For an exercise in rhetoric, I asked a group of students who had finshed the assignment early to make enough crowns for half of the class. With specific instructions, drawn on the board (because an... Continue Reading →

213. Anecdote of the Jar: Wallace Stevens

Last week I spent two days at a conference on standards based learning, hosted by the New England League of Middle Schools and run by Rick Wormelli. Wormelli's writings are well known, but his live show is just that--a show. If you liked Robin Williams in "Aladdin" or "Dead Poets Society", this is two days... Continue Reading →


187. Tracks: Tomas Transtromer

How's this for a distracting blog page? A mess. My wife gave me this poem, which I like but I don't really get.  That's typical of our relationship, not only with poetry.  What do you think?  It's a clear image, but your students can talk about this all day, no?  What's with the dream?  How... Continue Reading →


178. A Psalm of Life: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Two Longfellow's in a row!  My apologies to those reading chronologically.... Last month Wired magazine ran an article, "The Story of Steve Jobs: An Inspiration or Cautionary Tale?"  In it, author Ben Austen mentioned a Longfellow poem his father could still recite, memorized in school fifty years prior. He describes it as "corny". He then... Continue Reading →


172. Alphabet: Catherine French

We are reaching near chaos--the social meltdowns just before the spring checkout. My classroom is a 7-8 multi-age. My seventh graders are dating, which ranges from texting each other to say they are dating to behavior that makes me blush (or so I hear even as I don't ask). At the moment, there is drama.... Continue Reading →


151. Chuang Tzu and the Butterfly: Li Po

Li Po is one of China's greatest poets. I have vague memories of studying him during a Chinese Poetry class I took freshman year. What struck me most was learning about how conformist Chinese scholars seemed to be, as they worked their way through the system. Li Po did not fit the mold, and reportedly... Continue Reading →


149. The Last Rose of Summer: Thomas Moore

Start the new school year with a poem about passing. Tackle that post-summer mood at the throat. The Last Rose of Summer Thomas Moore 'Tis the last rose of summer Left blooming alone; All her lovely companions Are faded and gone; No flower of her kindred, No rosebud is nigh, To reflect back her blushes,... Continue Reading →


136. One With Others (excerpt): C. D. Wright

C.D. Wright won the National Book Award for Poetry a week ago for "One With Others". To celebrate, I offer up this excerpt (which comes from a great site: Poetry Daily) and a link to the whole book. The New York Times review reads: In “One With Others” C. D. Wright ranges back home to... Continue Reading →


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