Tag Archives: Dawn Potter

On Year 4: September’s Poems


Of course, the school year actually started in August–doesn’t it always?  So there’s a bonus poem.  I faced the usual resistance among some of the kids who have never been in my class before:  do we have to listen to every poem?  Yes, I told them–every blasted one.  That pretty much answers that question, came the …

Continue reading

On Year 3: January’s Poems


January!  What a hard month.  The cruelest one–don’t you believe anyone who tells you that’s April.  The big come-down off the holiday high, the wind howling down from the north, freezing everything it touches…and then suddenly, a day with a warm south wind that gives you a hint of what you’ve been missing, before yanking you …

Continue reading

On the Second February’s Poems


Happy Leap Year!  Happy Leap Day! Happy February!  Happy Groundhog Day! Happy Valentine’s Day!  Happy winter vacation! I tried to fill this month with love poems, but wasn’t always successful.  However, I have to say that I got a surprising reaction to Pablo Neruda from the students–they loved him!  I think it has to do …

Continue reading

On the Reading at the Common Street Gallery


Because of the all-day ice storm, neither my poet friend Lisa nor I had school Friday.  However, that did not stop the Common Street Gallery in Waterville from having their “Uncommon Words” poetry reading, featuring Rachel Contreni Flynn, Patrick Donnelly, and the wonderful and brilliant Dawn Potter.  Which meant that I had to gird my …

Continue reading

On the Second November’s Poems


In school, November, traditionally, is the shortest month.  That means, of course, the fewest number of poems for my classes.  November is also deer- hunting month here in mountainous central Maine, so many of the poems I chose for the month had to do with deer, and the woods, and things that the boys in …

Continue reading

On a New School Year, and the Second September’s Poems


A hundred years ago, when I attended the Advanced Placement institute in St. Johnsbury, Vermont with two of my awesome teaching colleagues, the five-day workshop was presented by a man who talked quite a bit about poetry boot camp.  This was what he called the intensive however-long unit on poetry and analysis that he subjected …

Continue reading

On May’s Poems, and a Bit of Reflection


To all intents and purposes, this was the last month for my daily poetry reading experiment:  the last day of class for seniors was Wednesday, May 25th, and quite frankly, I had the poem chosen for that day for quite some time. And it has been an experiment.  Because I started every class this year …

Continue reading

On March’s Poems


This month is for Brenda and Becky, who remind me that March is Women’s History Month.  When asked what or whom I should read, Becky said:  How about women, strong, spunky, make-a-difference women.  Must be some poems about them.  Us. Hell, yeah.  How about poems by those women?  So I’ve been trolling through my books, …

Continue reading

On January’s Poems


Back from vacation! The only boy in third period, when faced with Baron Wormser’s poem early in the month, demanded more snow poems.  One of the girls informed him that “those were for last month.”  He said he didn’t care; he liked snowmobiling.  Such is the logic of the 17-year-old mind some days. The reason …

Continue reading

On My Conversation with Elizabeth Barrett Browning


A thousand years ago, when I was quite young and reading my grandparents’ de-accessioned Reader’s Digest Condensed Books in order, I read The Barretts of Wimpole Street. Because it was there, of course, and for no other reason.  After all this time I have a vague recollection of Elizabeth’s overbearing and overprotective father, a man …

Continue reading