The Importance of Teachers: Poetry Friday #30

Sometimes it’s not the teachers you get along with that change you the most but the teachers you have a difficult relationship with. As a teen (who knew everything about poetry, of course) I had a fierce discussion with Mr. G about some of the poetry he had selected for the class to read. I was especially offended by cummings’ “in just spring”. I told him that “in just spring” wasn’t poetry at all. He gave me a small books of e.e. cummings and told me he would discuss cummings’ merits as a poet with me once I finished reading the book. That book, and the subsequent discussion, profoundly changed my understanding of poetry. Thank you, Mr. G.

Here’s one of the first poems I dog-eared in that book:


picker of buttercups



And the big bullying daisies

through the field wonderful

with eyes a little sorry

Another comes

also picking flowers

Did you ever have a teacher who profoundly changed your view on something?

**** Welcome to Poetry Friday ****
Starting us off with a caffeinated offering from Janet Wong is Robyn Hood Black.

Amy at Mrs. Merrill’s Book Break is sharing a favorite school-related poem.

Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe offers us an interesting poem involving a panda’s behind and Alice down the rabbit hole.

At NC Teacher Stuff, Jeff features Sid Farrar’s debut book, The Year Comes Round: Haiku through the Seasons.

Diane has a plethora of poetic offerings for us. At Random Noodling you can read “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver. Kurious Kitty celebrates International Literacy Day with a poem by Ann Turner. Kurious K’s Kwotes’ has a great quote by Wallace Stevens. At The Write Sisters we look at “before I die” wishes.

Sylvia Vardell shares am excerpt from the Poetry Friday Anthology — a school poem and 5 activities to accompany it.

Charles Ghigna at Father Goose is still waiting for “The Call.”

Violet Nesdoly is sharing a poem she wrote for Laura Purdie Salas’s 15-words-or-less prompts, called “Train song.”

An unexpected visitor inspired Linda at Teacherdance to write “Evening’s Gift”.

Vikram at 1000 Poems shares a humorous twisted nursery tale titled “Franken-Jack and Franken-Jill.”

For another adaptation, visit Gathering Books where Fats is in today with Tony Diterlizzi’s “The Spider and the Fly.”

If you need some helping qualifying for next year’s US Open, visit Douglas at Florian Cafe for a tennis tip.

Over at The Drift Record, Julie Larios has a poem about apples by Hattie Howard, and a note about Julie Paschkis’s new book, APPLE CAKE.

If you need more apple treats, Renee at No Water River has a video of her original ditty for fall called “Apple Pie with Synonym.”

Liz Steinglass has an original poem, “School Work” about the hard work kids are doing at school. Also, today is Growing Wild’s first birthday. Happy Birthday, Growing Wild!

Mary Lee at A Year of Reading posts the answer to a colleague’s question about how Poetry Friday works in her classroom.

Jama celebrates Jack Perlutsky’s birthday at Friday Feast. She shares some poems from his latest book, I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus.

Laura at Author Amok features the release of The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, 1965-2010. This book will blow you away because of the depth and breadth of Clifton’s work. She includes a writing prompt for MS/HS students.

Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference shares a poem by Scott Armitage.

At Radio, Rhythym, & Rhyme, Matt shares a poem inspired by 5 days spent working at the Hopkinton State Fair.

Karen Edmisten shares The Good Nights by Joseph Mills.

At Book Aunt, Kate Coombs shares an original poem called “Clock” today.

At Bigfoot Reads, Morzant the Alien discusses poetry with Joyce Sidman. The conversation ranges from chocolate to synesthesia.

Amy at The Poem Farm has a poem about something she doesn’t want to talk about…and something she does.

Laura Purdie Salas shares another Rachel Carson poem, “Sea Change.” She also challenges us to write a 15 Words or Less Poem inspired by a beautiful, fiery picture.

At Mainely Write, Donna shares an original poem, “Lessons From Dad’s Baseball Games.”

*I’m back from driving kids to sports and catching up on the afternoon’s entries!*
Jone at Check It Out is sharing some Poetry Friday Anthology love.

Tricia at Miss Rumphius Effect has a poem by Sandburg and the weekly poetry stretch results.

At There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town, Ruth shares a scientific lullaby.

Marjorie at Paper Tigers shares a Japanese poetry book that centers on Hiroshima.

At The Small Nouns, Ben shares one of his favorite poetry sites and a poem by Allery Akers.

Samuel of I Droo It (I Drew It!) has some cute poems. Did he visit my youngest son’s bedroom before writing “In My Bedroom”?

Janet at All About Books with Janet Squires shares her enjoyment of There’s No Place Like School by Jack Perlutsky

Jane Yolen invites us to visit Terri Winding’s blog — The Drawing Board for inspiration. Terri posts artwork, photography, and fascinating information about culture and mythology. Look in the comments section for a special treat — previously unpublished poems by poets including Jane.

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21 Responses to The Importance of Teachers: Poetry Friday #30

  1. kczaja says:

    And we did not, unfortunately, find my son’s mouthguard. Grrr. I’m hoping he left it at the gym and it is not lying at the bottom of the pond where he canoed last night!

    • kczaja says:

      Wooo hooo!!! He left it at the gym and the owner found it in the bathroom. I’m doing a happy dance!

  2. Kate Coombs says:

    I’ve posted an original poem called “Clock” today. Thanks for hosting! (Bummer about the mouthguard.)

  3. Katya! I forgot to tell you that I’m not a robot, so my comment may come through twice.

    Yes…my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Fron, was a life-changer. He helped me see a new angle on so many things, especially nature and looking outward. I wrote about him here a few years ago, and I will always be grateful to this man. –

    Today at The Poem Farm I have a poem about something I don’t want to talk about…and something I do… –

    Thank you for hosting! My fingers are crossed that your son’s mouthguard finds its way safely home today.


  4. Pingback: [Poetry Friday] Sea Change (Another Rachel Carson poem) | laurasalas

  5. Wonderful poem. cummings challenges and delights and frustrates me! I will be thinking about the teacher question. I had several who inspired or irritated me, but wondering if I had any who profoundly changed me.

    I’m in with an original epistolary poem called Sea Change at

    And 15 Words or Less poems are at

    Thanks for hosting!

  6. Pingback: friday feast: happy birthday, jack prelutsky! « Jama's Alphabet Soup

  7. Donna says:

    Loved cummings, though it was a shocker as a teen that anyone would write without capital letters! My mom read me poetry from an early age, so I loved it before I started school even. My first memorization of a poem was in fifth grade: “Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree”.

    Here is my original poem from yesterday: Lessons From Dad’s Baseball Games.

  8. Tricia says:

    Hi Katya,
    I’m in today with a poem by Sandburg and the weekly poetry stretch results.
    Thanks for hosting!

  9. Jone says:

    Showing love for Poetry Friday anthology:

  10. Jone says:

    By the way I love cummings.

  11. (Sorry about the mouthguard, Katya. I thought of you all a week or so ago when the “fake” part of my son’s front tooth broke off after several years! A trip to the dentist and some magic dental Super Glue or something, and it all looks good again.)

    Love your thoughtful post. I was actually thinking of some of my high school teachers while I was walking this morning – then I read this! A college professor who challenged me – and I went to college in need of some expansion! – comes to mind. So thankful for great teachers.

  12. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Searching for their owner… poems from Hiroshima

  13. When I was 8, my headmistress asked me at a parents’ evening whose class I wanted to go into the following year – when I said Miss Sharps’ she looked at my Mum who said it was nothing to with her – Miss Sharp was a real dragon but a great teacher and I did love being taught by her…

    I’m in this week with a Japanese poetry book that centers on Hiroshima:

    Thank you for hosting. Hope the mouth-guard turns up (perhaps your son is at least ruing that he lost it, now that the WHOLE WORLD knows about it ;-) )

  14. Ben Curran says:

    Hi there…and thanks for hosting. I’m in this afternoon with a post about one of my favorite poetry websites, American Life in Poetry.

    –Ben @ The Small Nouns

  15. Samuel Kent says:

    I posted four kid-ready poems on this week and plenty of doodles too!

  16. The first lesson plan I developed as an undergraduate working on my teaching certificate was for ee cummings “in just-” for a 7th grade language arts class in a very poor rural Georgia town near University of Georgia. I chose that poem because my 7th grade language arts teacher, Mrs. Smith, had “turned me on” to ee cummings and convinced me that poetry didn’t have to rhyme. My students loved it and wrote some incredible poetry inspired by it which we bound into a booklet. Unfortunately there was no laminating machine there; when I saw the teacher again the following year, she showed me the dog-eared, frayed pages and told me the students were so proud of that class project and demanded their 8th grade language arts teacher teach ee cummings poetry. I love Poetry Fridays! Thanks!

  17. Thanks for hosting.

    My selection is “There’s no place like school: classroom poems” selected by Jack Prelutsky with illustrations by Jane Manning.