Tag Archives: Emily Dickinson

On Year 5: March’s Poems


This is the month which, proverbially, comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  We’re waiting for that lamb.  Snow, snow and more snow, and on days when there isn’t any snow falling, the temperatures are frigid.  However, the first day of spring comes in March, and somehow that always makes people …

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On Year 5: December’s Poems


  Winter, to quote Eddard Stark, is coming. There are so many poems about cold and snow and ice.  Perhaps it’s simply the hunkering down we have to do in the storm that makes poets write that storm down.  Imagine them, if you will, huddled next to the wood fire, blowing on cold hands before …

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On Year 5: November’s Poems


November:  one of my favorite months.  It just seems a release after all the colorful expectations of October.  Time to settle down, get the wood in, freeze all the food to last through the winter.  The leaves are gone.  The birds are gone.  The light, once Daylight Savings Time is over, is gone.  Hibernation is the …

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On Year 5: August & September’s Poems


This month marked the beginning of the fifth year of reading a poem a day to my students.  All of them.  Every period, every day.  Such a simple thing to do–and yet.  We don’t do it.  We live in a school culture which devalues poems, calls them “hard,” and makes students frightened of them.  That’s a …

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On Year 4: May’s Poems


The homestretch, the final month of the school year.  It’s been wet and squelchy, unsettled, cold.  The kids have been antsy and bad-tempered.  I’ve tried to give them poems that provided something warm and uplifting.  I’m not sure I was always successful–and quite frankly, this has been a year where the students have been really …

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On Year 4: January’s Poems


Happy New Year! It’s cold.  Really cold.  Polar vortexes taking over and everything.  Pipes freezing.  Cars not starting.  Wind chills in the -30s.  And two and a half months until spring.  It’s hard to read, let alone write.  Still, there are cold poems out there for the harvesting, and I’ve been delivering them to the …

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On Year 4: November’s Poems


November is a blustery month, a month of bruisy skies and moaning winds.  A thousand years ago, when I was in sixth grade, in a classroom whose high windows looked over the gym roof at the empty gray skies, I remember the social studies teacher, Mr. York, saying how much he hated November, because it …

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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 …

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On Year 3: March’s Poems


March is the most difficult month in school:  everyone is exhausted.  Perhaps it’s because it’s winter’s last hurrah?  However, it’s also, fortunately, the month when spring fights its way in, so there’s something to look forward to.  Ah, and the advent of Daylight Savings Time, when it is lighter later in the afternoon.  My list …

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On Year 3: February’s Poems


This month I was ambivalent.  I wanted to read poems about love, after a fashion, because of Valentine’s Day.  But this February was also full of winter, full of snow, and so many snow poems presented themselves.  Thus, I waffled back and forth.  Top this all off with a healthy dose of restlessness, and there …

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