Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Poetry Friday: Thanku

When I was in high school, I was not a fan of poetry.  The poems we read in English class were complicated and no matter how hard I tried, I never got them.  We spent endless hours analyzing hidden meanings that remained hidden to me even after the teacher explained them to us.  To me, poetry was meant only for the intellectual elite who could comprehend it.

After my first son was born, I decided to earn my degree and become a teacher.  I majored in English and loved reading the assigned short stories, but once again the poems seemed distant and unappealing. 

Then one day while browsing the children's section in a local bookstore, I came across The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes. Being a lifelong dreamer, the title appealed to me. The introduction written by Lee Bennett Hopkins inspired me to read on.  I turned to "Dreams" and like magic, I fell in love with those eight gorgeous lines.


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

(Read the rest of the poem here.)

 I read that poem again and again until it became part of me.  It was the poem that changed my life and led me to discover a passion for poetry.

Now I start the school year by reading "Dreams" to my students. I even have a poster of it hanging in the front of my classroom where students see it every day. I want them to carry it in their hearts the way I have. So when I decided to join with Teaching Authors and write a thanku, I chose the two poets who led me to believe in the possibilities of  poetry.

Thanku Langston and Lee

poetry changed me
with words of friendship, dreams, love—
so simple, so true

Thank you for stopping by! Today's Poetry Friday is hosted by Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Poetry Friday: Where Ideas Come From

Tonight, I'm in the middle of grading a huge stack of eighth grade essays, but I wanted to take a minute to share an interview and video of poet/author Sandra Cisneros explaining how a real life experience inspired her to write her latest book Have You Seen Marie? 

You can read more about the book and about Sandra Cisneros on her website, and you can read her one of her poems "Good Hotdogs" here.

Be sure to visit our Poetry Friday host, Ed,  at Think Kid, Think! for great poetry and book reviews.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Poetry Friday: In the Path of the Storm

We had two days off school during the hurricane. There were reports that our area would experience a lot of damage and power outages. We had two days of howling wind and heavy rain. A lot of trees came down, and there was some flooding, but no major damage to our house or neighborhood. Tonight we're counting our blessings and sending prayers to the folks in places like New Jersey and New York who suffered the worst of the storm.

On Monday and Tuesday, I spent a lot of time watching coverage of the storm. The comments made by the politicians and newscasters from their first warnings to their descriptions of the damage really stuck with me. I sat with my notebook and started jotting their words down.  Today, I'm sharing a found poem I put together from some of those comments.

        In the Path of the Storm
We learn lessons from every storm.
Please heed the warnings—
The worst is yet to come
It's time to hunker down
The damage will be

In the path of the storm,
there's nothing we can do
but ride it out the best we can.
When people think it's safe—
it can be the most

The clouds have not yet parted
with another night of darkness
it's tough to see the sun
recovery will be slow—
we are tough
It will never be the same
but we will rebuild.
We will not quit—
We learn lessons
from every
Donna at Mainely Write is our lovely hostess for this week's Poetry Friday. Hug your family tight and have a great weekend!