Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Poetry lessons

Mrs. H was an old fashioned teacher who wore her hair in a tight bun and a blouse that buttoned up high that was always finished off by a sparkly, but not too sparkly, brooch.

When I met her the first day of fourth grade I was afraid of her sternness and her long homework assignments.

We were given an assignment to write a poem about our favorite color and to my great relief the writing came to me quickly. The next morning, I was so excited to share my poem with her.

When I handed it in, her reply was curt.
"You did NOT write this."

I was aghast. No matter what I said, she would not believe that my poem about the color red was mine!

I don't know where my moment of bravery came from, but before I knew it I said, "Give me another word to write about and I'll write a poem about it right now."
She agreed.
So, I wrote.

Thankfully, the words came. The poem was written and she knew that writing was something I had a natural knack for. I somehow, was a poet.

There are a million other lessons that Mrs. H taught me that school year. In fact she became one of my favorite teachers of all time. She gave her time, her encouragement and her energy like not other teacher had before or probably since. My writing was really rough around the edges, but she could see that somewhere deep down, that I had a love for words and for communication.

Years later I learned that there was a distinct reason Mrs. H was so serious about poetry.
It turns out that she was a poet herself.
She loved words and wanted her students to sincerely love them too.

Thank you Mrs. H for helping me to learn to love, respect, and wrestle with words - no matter what the grade turns out to be. Thank you for helping me to discover too, that like you , I'm a poet too.

I'm a poet, and thanks to Mrs. H the poet - I know it.

Image found at janeaustinworld

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