The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Power of Words

          On Friday a parent toured our school. When we get a note saying something like, "There's a school tour at 11," my opinion is whatever is happening is what the family will see. I might make sure my desk is not piled too high with papers but other than that, things go on as planned.

       But in the middle of viewing and scoring our movies, the visiting parent came in. All 22 of the middle-schoolers were in the room, a movie was being presented via the smartboard, and the lights were off. 

     Usually, a tour peeks in, then steps out. But this mother and their guide stood there... and watched the movie.

     And it was an especially good one. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. Photos of the 8th grader's family and friends with a simple, poignant voice-over. One picture fading into the next.

     Once that film was finished, they asked if I could step out and chat for a moment. I filled the mom in on what we do during the year--"I am from" poems at the beginning to ease into writing, personal narratives, NaNoWriMo in November, informational writing (including multi-genre pieces) and finishing up with persuasive/argumentative pieces.

    And I reveled in the power of words.

    So when I saw Shay's poem (inspired by the news) and then followed the link she provided, and I was a bit inspired. Here's the poem I came up with, after thinking about the news:

the news these days
is mostly sad


worthy--sometimes--of a froth of spittle
spraying out
resulting in--other times--streaming tears
‘cause the headline’s are so ridiculous,
they seem made-up
but they’re not

they’re not

the headlines and the fine print
are inked in black on white
and it’s bleak

but dig a fingernail under the text
and find the stories
that are either untold or buried
and there’s some hope

hopefully we can unearth all we need
so that tolerance
and understanding
and plain ol’ common decency can reborn

here’s to hope
(covered by a thin layer of filthy dirt)

What do you think of when you think of the news/the power of words? Awed minds want to know.