Thursday, March 7, 2013

 
Silence
 
                                                                      I sent you a text
                                                                      and when you sent me one back
                                                                      the teacher caught us—
                                                                      now you're not speaking to me
                                                                      my phone is silent


 
I got the idea to write "Silence" after one of my middle school students told me that she used to send texts to her best friend all day long without the teachers seeing her.  When her friend got caught replying to one her messages and had her phone taken away, the friendship ended.  It reminded me of the time a friend insisted that I pass a note for her and how afraid I was of getting caught. I passed the note, but I was hurt that my friend put me at risk of getting into trouble.

 
I wanted to keep the poem very short to resemble the brevity of a text message. I also wanted to show the loneliness of a friendship ending abruptly the way a text does when it is interrupted.

 
I’m very proud that “Silence” appears in a wonderful new book, THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong.  This book is a great resource for teachers with Common Core activities for each poem.   I can’t wait to try some of the Take 5 suggestions with my students. You can learn more about the book and enter to win a copy at the POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL website.

 
Head on over to My Juicy Little Universe where Heidi is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday roundup!


 

 


27 comments:

  1. This poem stopped me in my tracks when I was reading through the anthology, Linda - I wondered about its inspiration, and it's so interesting to read the story here. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I always enjoy reading about how writers come up with their ideas so I thought it might be fun to share how "Silence" came to me. Thanks for stopping by, Robyn!

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  2. "Silence" is so poignant in its brevity. It's amazing how powerful text messaging has become for kids today. Congrats on your poem being included in the PF Anthology. =)

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    1. Briget, you're so right about texting and it's importance to kids. It seems like younger and younger kids are getting into it. I don't text so I guess I'm behind the times! : )

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  3. Congrats, Linda on being published. This is a startling poem.

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  4. This little poem captures the fragility of teenage friendships. Congrats!

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    1. Thanks, Margaret! They can't live without those cell phones! : )

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  5. This poem jcaptures exactly what my middle school kids experience....what a wonderful poem. I have ordered this anthology and can't wait for it to arrive!

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    1. Tara, you're going to love it! The Take 5 activities are so useful! Janet and Sylvia did a fantastic job!

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  6. Aww, Linda, what a nice (yet also sad) poem - these kids are such digital natives, arent they? So very different from our realities. Thanks for sharing this one.

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    1. Thank you, Myra. You're so right, this generation loves their electronics!

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  7. Passing notes, 21st Century style. Ha!

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    1. Yes, and they think we don't know what they're doing. I admit that they are pretty good at it.

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  8. I loved reading your background notes about this post--and the last two lines of this poem, along with that background, are a real discussion starter for the classroom. I'd love to know, Linda, what your students say about this poem!!

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    1. Janet, last week was our state testing so I haven't had time to share the poem with them yet. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say about the poem. I'm going to use one of your wonderful Take 5 activities and have them create a graphic "novel" of the poem. I also have another idea of an extension I'm going to try. (I'll share the results in a later post!)

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  9. Nice! That does it -- I'm going to go order this.

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    1. Ruth, you'll be so glad you did. The poems and activities are fantastic! : )

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  10. Congratulations, Linda--I've received my copy of the book but not had time to read through it. Looking forward to a treat!

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    1. I haven't read all the poems yet, but the ones I have are really wonderful! I'm trying one of the activities with my students this week. By the way, your "Meet the Saurus" poem is fantastic!

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  11. This is lovely, Linda! I like that it could be read that the friend is not speaking to her because she can't text OR that this has caused bigger problems and the friend isn't talking to her in general--texting or in person! Thanks for sharing the story behind this.

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    1. Thanks, Laura. I'm going to try having the kids write a reply to the speaker and see what they come up with!

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  12. Linda, my daughter is in middle school. This poem is so true to life for that age. Let me know if you'd be willing to post the poem on my blog during NPM -- I'm spending the month in the TechnoVerse. Your poem is a perfect fit.

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    1. Hi Laura! Yes, I would be honored to have my poem on your blog! Let me know when so I can be sure to see it! Thank you!

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  13. Maria Mazzone-KulpApril 5, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    I love it!

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  14. Hi, Linda. Looking forward to your contribution to the NPM Progressive Poem!

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    1. Thanks, Laura. It's getting late, and I need still need to write my line. I'm not sure what it will be yet, so I'd better get to it.

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