Poetry Friday: The Mother, by Gwendolyn Brooks

A difficult one to read, but a powerful poem often is.  Poetry Friday: where I share my long-time or momentary poems, once a week. Check out the rest here   The mother Abortions will not let you forget. You remember the children you got that you did not get, The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair, The singers and workers that never handled the air. You will never neglect or beat Them, or silence or buy with a sweet. You will never wind up the sucking-thumb Or scuttle off ghosts that come. You will never leave …

Poetry Friday: The Thought Fox (Ted Hughes)

Poetry Friday: where I share my long-time or momentary poems, once a week. Check out the rest here   THE THOUGHT-FOX I imagine this midnight moment’s forest: Something else is alive Beside the clock’s loneliness And this blank page where my fingers move. Through the window I see no star: Something more near Though deeper within darkness Is entering the loneliness: Cold, delicately as the dark snow, A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf; Two eyes serve a movement, that now And again now, and now, and now Sets neat prints into the snow Between trees, and warily a lame Shadow …

Poetry Friday: Slattern (Kate Clanchy)

Poetry Friday: where I share my long-time or momentary poems, once a week. Check out the rest here Slattern I leave myself about, slatternly, bits of me, and times I liked: I let them go on lying where they fall, crumple, if they will, I know fine how to make them walk and breathe again. Sometimes at night, or on the train, I dream I’m dancing, or lying in someone’s arms who says he loves my eyes in French, and again and again I am walking up your road, that first time, bidden and wanted, the blossom on the trees, …

Poetry Friday: What do Women Want? (Kim Addonizio)

Poetry Friday: where I share my long-time or momentary poems, once a week. Check out the rest here “What do Women Want?” I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me. I want it sleeveless and backless, this dress, so no one has to guess what’s underneath. I want to walk down the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store with all those keys glittering in the window, past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old donuts in their cafe, past the Guerra …

Building vocabulary through pairing of words

I occasionally have a competition with my classes, to find a pair of words in English that have precisely the same denotation and connotation (which is a nice way to introduce those terms as well.)   Basically, they provide pairs of words that they think are the same, and I explain why that’s not true. It builds competitiveness – especially when I get two classes going at the same time and they want to win first – and it gets them exposed to a wide range of language and meaning, as they start looking for ways to win! Although we …