Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Poetry Out Loud (and read to yourself)

I meant to write this a couple of weeks ago right after National Poetry Month ended, but better late than never.

First, this story on NPR lets you hear Shawntay Henry, this year’s winner of the Poetry Out Loud contest, read “Frederick Douglass” by Robert E. Hayden.

Second, you can listen to the winners of AHS’s first iPoem contest. This was a last minute idea, so we didn’t get as much participation as we would’ve liked, but we’ll start earlier next year. First place, for the poem “Cthulu (pronounced ku-thew-lew) Converses with his Master” by Allie Fresch (Video, Text). First runner up, for the poem “Tekel” by Olyver Mycroft (Audio, Text), and second runner up for the poem “The Difference Between Life & Living” by Brittany Knigge (Audio, Text).

Finally, from the Summer 2008 issue of Mountain Rise, the International Journal of Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (published at Western Carolina University), the poem Teachers Must by Joe Mills, North Carolina School of the Arts.

Each fall when the new grapes arrive,
we sift and evaluate them,
trying to determine how best
to help them be what they can be.
Some are thin-skinned and delicate,
others gruff and independent.
Some need oak, others stainless steel.
No single process works for all,
so first we must identify
the grapes for what they are, not what
we wish they were. We also must
believe that careful attention,
time, and the right environment,
can help develop character,
complexity, balance, and depth.
But, most of all, we must have faith
that even when we can’t see them
fundamental transformations
bordering on miraculous
are bubbling under the surface.

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