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 …

Roald Dahl’s poetry – a forgotten gem

I’ve been falling love with Revolting Rhymes again. I remember loving it as a child, watching the VHS animated versions over and over again – my mum must have been absolutely sick of them.   Teaching a Year 9 unit on character, I’ve returned to some of them. It’s a challenging unit about re-imagining characters. A typical series of lessons, for example, will have us look at the original Pygmalian story, read a section of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalian, watch a section of My Fair Lady, explore Duffy’s ‘Galatea’ and then write their own monologue of Galatea coming to life. I …