Friday, June 9, 2023

For Teachers...and Welcome Guests!

Last Day of School
by Amy LV

Students - In the United States in mid-June, many schools are out for summer vacation, and many of the others are on their way to summer vacation very soon. So, this poem is an occasional poem, or a poem written for a special occasion - the end of school. It is also a poem of address, as in a poem written to someone particular, in this case, a special teacher.

I am very lucky to have learned from many wonderful teachers including but in no way limited to my mom, my grandmother (both taught fourth grade!), Mrs. Dufty, Mr. Fron, Mrs. Brooks, Mr. Walsh, Professor Valerie Bang-Jensen, Professor O'Brien, Professor Kennison, Professor Pliner, Lee Bennett Hopkins, and so many of the teachers I meet and authors of books I read every day. Moving from one class or grade to another can leave that bitter (so sad to leave) sweet (yay, new adventures) feeling in my mouth every time.

While this poem is not a ghazal, the form was definintely inspired by the ghazals I recently read and reread by Laura Purdie SalasLiz Garton Scanlon, and Mary Lee Hahn. I highly recommend that you check them out. In this poem of mine, notice the repetition of the -eer sound and also the repetition of the whole word together

Today, and this summer, one writing recommendation I have for you is this: write a poem for a special occasion. And...or...write a poem especially FOR someone else. If you like, play around with some repetition, either by repeating one sound over and over...or coming around and around to the same word.

And now, happy guest news!

Today I am fortunate and excited to again welcome friends from Tioughnioga Riverside Academy in Whitney Point, NY. Hello and many thank yous to Intermediate Literacy Coordinator Dr. Kristie Miner, Fifth Grade Teachers Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Kraly, and Mrs. Vandermark and the Fifth Grade Poets of TRA.

These writers took on a 24 HOURS project, each writing a poem in the voice of their school, all the way through one night and one day. Look closely at that first slide and the fabulous way the authors displayed their work all around a large clock face!

Read these delightful poems to meet some of the school's characters, listen to sounds, notice similes and careful repetition. Pay attention to the different feelings in each poem and how the line breaks help you feel those feelings. This slideshow reads like a book that I would love to check out from the library.

Click the three dots and ENTER FULL SCREEN to enlarge.

Thank you again, poets! I feel like we just took a secret field trip, absorbing the sights and sounds and smells of Tioughnioga Riverside Academy. Your school will miss your voices and your footsteps  and will think about you in the summer days (and nights!) ahead. Readers, please if you would, take a moment to comment on this delightful book in slides.

Buffy is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup and two camoflauge photographs and poems over at Buffy Silverman. Each Friday, all are invited to share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship in this open and welcoming poetry community.

And young writer friends, please know that I will be here for most Fridays of the summer. I plan to spend lots of time writing in my little shed named Gratitude (tour next fall) and also look forward to lots of fruit picking, sock knitting, flower photographing, and craziest of all, a Giant Puppet Making workshop at Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, Pennysylvania.



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  1. I so remember all those last days of school, happy but often with a touch of meloncholy. Choosing to repeat "together" fits nicely in your poem. Thanks for sharing your poems and those from the students at the Academy. What a fabulous project!

  2. Yay for summer vacation, Amy! Hope your "The End" is the beginning of many wonderful things. xo

  3. Love the way you've captured the feelings of the last day of school. And hey, I have seen that school (I think?) We used to drive through Whitney Point on the way from Ithaca (where we lived for 10 years) to Greene (where the spouse grew up.) What a terrific project.

  4. Well, if I'd not had such onion-juice eyes because of the poem, I might have read further to see that it wasn't my imagination that your poem was ghazal-inspired! Thanks for the shout-out!

  5. What a beautiful poem to end the school year! Many thanks to you once again for inspiring the young writers at TRA and for sharing their work on your wonderful blog. Such a fabulous project!

  6. The end of the school year is such an odd time--one class leaving, another on their way in. I'm heading into the last week of the year with my second graders right now and had Step Up Day with my incoming class yesterday, so your poem landed on fertile ground. I also am wowed by the slide book you shared with all those fabulous fifth grade poets, so clearly inspired by your work.

  7. I had the pleasure of being at both granddaughters' graduations this year, from 5th & 8th grades, remembering all my teacher times at school's end. This is wonderful Amy, a loving capture of the goodbye.

  8. Such fun to have shared your 24 Hours project with friends, and now sharing with us, Amy. Thank you! I sure love listening to the school building, especially when it's quiet and not yet filled with students.

  9. Amy, your poem today is such a wonderful mentor text. My oldest granddaughter's last day of Kindergarten and her 6th birthday are this week. You gave me the incentive to write an occasion poem for her. I am going to start working on it today, thanks to you. I think the children's poems you shared are really special. They should be proud.

  10. Oh, the loveliness/sadness/summer-anticipation that accompanies the end of the year! ❤️