Thursday, September 27, 2018

Dreams and Legends

The heart, I think, which is the home of all things rhythmic, is where learned poems go to live.
~Bill Richardson

A couple of poems used in Poetry Out Loud, the national recitation contest for students, today.

The Farmer
by W. D. Ehrhart

Each day I go into the fields
to see what is growing
and what remains to be done.
It is always the same thing: nothing
is growing, everything needs to be done.
Plow, harrow, disc, water, pray
till my bones ache and hands rub
blood-raw with honest labor—
all that grows is the slow

read the rest here

The Legend
By Garrett Hongo

In Chicago, it is snowing softly
and a man has just done his wash for the week.
He steps into the twilight of early evening,
carrying a wrinkled shopping bag
full of neatly folded clothes,
and, for a moment, enjoys
the feel of warm laundry and crinkled paper,
flannellike against his gloveless hands.
There’s a Rembrandt glow on his face,
a triangle of orange in the hollow of his cheek

read the rest here


Just between you and me, sometimes I have been disappointed by Poetry Out Loud judging. I'm not surprised that it is hard to find consistency and skill among the many judges at the various levels. I ran across that problem during the dozen years I coordinated Reflections at the school level. (I still feel bad about a judge I lined up who turned out to be a stinker!) Regardless, I love that kids are learning poems by heart for Poetry Out Loud. Reciting poems is a gift.


Deowriter has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jone!


Linda B said...

Tabatha, you always make me read the poems you share, then return & read them once, or twice, more. How can we read & dismiss these startling words? Today it feels as if they are telling me to remember we do not know what others are thinking "inside". I guess we can only hope we're close in our imagining. These struck me as examples: "For them,/I complain." and
"I feel so distinct
from the wounded man lying on the concrete
I am ashamed."


Linda Mitchell said...

Oh, those POL poems....they really, really get me. I saw students perform at the National Book Festival once and was just blown away. These poems that you shared. Oh, the surprises...full and weighty and so ready to be read by a young person who will carry the words with them to competition and the rest of their lives. Gorgeous selection this week. I like the little video too. The woman's voice is beautiful. said...

Thank you for sharing these powerful poems. They are beautiful and thought-provoking. The second one made me feel so sad--it's almost exactly a year since a friend of mine was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Kay said...

I love The Farmer. One of my jobs is to go out and talk to farmers (to collect information for USDA agriculture surveys). I bet many of the farmers I talk to could relate to this poem. I started the year off with intentions to memorize a poem a week. I started out strong, but haven't continued. Now I want to memorize some more poems.

Buffy Silverman said...

Such interesting poems to choose for students to recite. I too love the farmer one, especially these lines (which I'm not sure I fully understand, but love the feeling of them):
A farmer of dreams
knows how to pretend. A farmer of dreams
knows what it means to be patient.

Karen Edmisten said...

Oh, these lines from The Farmer got me:

It is always the same thing: nothing
is growing, everything needs to be done.

Both powerful poems, Tabatha and you're right, reciting poems is a gift. So is sharing them on Poetry Friday. :)

Jone said...

Reciting is such a gift. I will miss coaching my students this year.