I was looking forward to sharing poetry with my secondary school music students this year. While my Classical Conversations students were used to conversation sloshing across all subject boundaries, my Music students are only now getting used to it. (I remember once connecting Mozart’s lifetime with a local colonial period event on the Connecticut River. They looked at me as though I had forgotten who I was. Good times.)
Looks like I’ll have to get creative about sharing poetry with them via Google Classroom. But how hard can it be? It is not like I have to listen to their groans. The good thing is if I share frequently, eventually one lands. One hits home and expresses what they feel or think.
At one time I collected several Magnetic Poetry boxes. I eventually organized them by word function. Here are the verb (bottom half, alphabetical), to be verbs, personal pronouns, and nouns sorted in categories.
Here are more pronouns, prepositions, adjectives, conjunctions, odd nouns, and suffixes.
And this? This is what you get when you give a Math Major a marker. He’s thinking about something, not sure what, but it looks wicked smart. (Pam, you may remember him doing the same during lunchtime at Classical Conversations.) It dawned on me today I do not have my future retirement plan in my youngest after all. Not if he becomes an academe.
So, my first COVID poetry:
No seriously, here is one for us. Camille, I am still not tired of this one.
By Gerard Manley Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
–> For all this darkness we’re living, there does exist something new and redeeming in it. Slice along the withered bark and the green sapwood glistens. God has not abandoned us.