Thursday, May 26, 2022

Poetry Friday Round-up is HERE

This is not the post I planned to share this evening...but this was not the week I planned to experience.

Monday, I was in a 6th grade Science classroom full of wiggling, chatty, full of questions almost 7th-graders. We were learning about our solar system, space, and our universe. This is a tall order for a topic. I broke it down into:

  • See-Think-Wonder warm up with library books about space
  • Listen to Countdown. 2,972 Days to the Moon non-fiction in verse by Suzanne Slade for 10 minutes
  • Five Fabulous Facts (known in the old days as notes)
  • A game of True/False in which you think the answer to questions from True or False. Solar System (World Book. 2018)

If the question I read is true, touch the wall with the poster of the astronaut...if you think the answer to my question is false, touch the wall with the bulletin board.

Bulletin Board of a collaborating teacher May 2022

My time in the classroom went so well! The teacher I collaborated with was pleased, and the students were engaged and smiling by the time the bell rang, I felt accomplished.

Tuesday's news of a school shooting in Ulvade, Texas hit me hard. Before work Wednesday morning I stood at my kitchen sink and wondered if my hands were shaking because I had low blood sugar, or my caffeinated coffee kicked in with gusto or, I was literally shaken by the news of more senseless murders by a shooter with an automatic rifle in a school. 

Fortunately, I got to work and the routine of my day, students, and work absorbed all my attention. But, still, I am shaken. I am furious. I'm grief-stricken. I am worn out from absorbing the difficulties of our world. My poem below reflects the opposite extremes of a great day at school and the nightmare news of a school shooting felt simultaneously. 

Seeing this picture differently after the latest mass murder by an automatic rifle

Star padlet addition:

I appreciate your reading. I am out-of-pocket Saturday morning through Monday evening. I will read as many posts as possible tonight through Friday night and catch up with the rest next week. Stay safe, and check-in with loved ones--especially any educators you know. It's been a long and difficult school year. 

Please add your Poetry Friday link below

Thursday, May 19, 2022

May 20, 2022 Imperfect II

Happy Poetry Friday!

Thank you, Carmela, at Teaching Authors for hosting our round-up this week. I'll be hosting next week and I'm already excited!

At school, we've just finished the fourth annual Poetry Pandemonium. It's lots of fun and also serves as a review for students of figurative language such as metaphor, simile, rhyme, repetition, rhythm, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. 

Poetry Pandemonium 2022
The winning poem? Nothing! by Kat Apel

One of our teachers mentioned to me that we have so many poems stored in our archives, "now you can re-use poems for next year and not have to go searching for new ones." 

Well, yes. But, for me, searching for poems is a big part of the fun. This past week, I spent my reading time with the poems of Imperfect II. poems about perspective. an anthology for middle schoolers edited by our own Tabatha Yeatts. 

First, what a project! Tabatha has edited a beautiful, beautiful book of verse from poets of varied backgrounds, ages, and experiences. Altogether, there are dozens of poems written specifically for middle school students. This collection is a wholly fresh and new source of poems for Pandemonium V. Thank you, poets! Thank you, Tabatha!

I am fortunate to have two poems included in Imperfect II. 

What You Don't See

How easy it is for me
to get lost in my head.

How following directions in class
is doubly hard
when you interrupt 
to add extra details, or
a story or tell that kid
to sit down again.

How doing anything
while you watch me
is impossible
as I wonder what 
mistakes you see
and then, I freeze.
Unable to continue.

I wish you knew 
how to help me
succeed with ADHD.

~Linda Mitchell (p 72)

Tabatha has enriched the experience of Imperfect II with a blog, Imperfect II . It's a wonderful place to read, think and write about perspective. 

Thank you, Tabatha, for creating Imperfect, Imperfect II and binding all our perspectives together through poetry. It is a real gift to be included in such a work. I so appreciate the chance to work with you in this way. And, I love how this community is providing important poetry for kids.

Another star poem on the padlet

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Artist Date with Margaret Ong

You know that feeling you get ... that you got ... when you were a little kid and were so surprised at something so cool all you could do was say, Oh! ? That's me when I saw a link to a review of an art exhibit by visual poet Margaret Ong.

Visual Poet...I didn't even know such an art existed...and, yet I did because I have been growing as a visual poet for some time, not understanding that there is a name for my urge to play with words on a page with paint and glue and rubber stamps and even a sewing machine.

I'm a happy beginner. Margaret Ong is a master. Come on-- let's go see some of her work!

Start by clicking on this article by John Yau in Hypoallergenic 
Yau, John. “A Poet-Artist Looks to the Stars.” Hyperallergic, 6 Aug. 2021,

As you can imagine, I started taking in Ong's work...and haven't stopped--likely never will. I have so much to learn. Ong's current exhibit in Chicago is also star-based. Isn't that the best? Now, I have to figure out a way to see her art in person. 

The image below is a visual poem draft of words found John Yau's article (

to arrange as a found poem.

visual poem draft -- Linda Mitchell May '22

I was a bit behind on the star padlet...but am caught up. Hooray! Nothing fancy...just two haiku that make me happy. 

Thank you, Rose at Imagine the Possibilities for hosting this week's Poetry Friday round-up. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Homage to Pick a Proverb

Thank you, Jama, for hosting our round-up today.

Our Inklings are paying homage to someone else's April Poetry Month Project (see a round-up of them at Jama's Alphabet Soup). I really enjoyed Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's Pick a Proverb project. She is a productive poet that's for sure. 

I had ideas and drafts and pfffttttthhhfffft. They fizzled flat. I had that, uh oh...what if I have nothing to show for Friday? feeling. But, I pitched this idea. So, I can't just not show up!

Keep it simple
Don't overthink
You've got this

These are all things I was telling myself Thursday morning during my creative time. 

I started with something familiar, stars.
'hitch your wagon to a star.' 

Where did that phrase come from? Is it a proverb or an idiom?

According to ongoing RHR (Rabbit Hole Research), the phrase is an idiom referring to hitching one's fortune to another who can raise one's status.


Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, originator of this phrase in American Civilization 1862, likely meant more than glomming onto someone's coattails. He meant...

Whoa. This is a horse of a different color. This is something more like wisdom...more proverb.  

"...we are strong borrowing the might of the elements..."

Linda Mitchell 5/22

Let's go see how the other Inklings responded to May's challenge:

Mary Lee