Elementary School Poetry 180 – Week Two

Here are the five poems I read last week:

I still have a student who says, “That was short” when I finish reading a poem. All of these fit on a single page except for “Numbers”. There was some discussion of the last stanza of that one, a bit of confusion about what to make of “three boys”, “two Italians”, and “one sock”.

I think I’m going to drop “Ozymandias”. While I like it, and it’s fun to read aloud, I think it’s too heady for ten-year-olds. They just don’t know what to make of it.

7 thoughts on “Elementary School Poetry 180 – Week Two

  1. Richard, I just reread “Ozymandias,” and I agree, it’s too much. The language is arcane; the whole poem probably has to be dismantled to decipher the words before the actual meaning of the entire work is understood; and finally, the irony that nothing is left will be lost on them.

    May i suggest something from Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago Poems”? They, too, are short, but they speak to the growing class struggle of the rich vs. poor and the lack of a middle class. Just a thought. My goodness, I wish Riley had had you for a teacher. Not only do you challenge your students, but I believe she would have LOVED the challege…

    Thanks so much. Peace, Amy http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/la-bella-luna-poetic-bloomings/


    • Amy, thank you. Your analysis of why “Ozymandias” just doesn’t work is spot on.

      Thank you for the suggestion about Carl Sandburg. I’m not too familiar with his work or with his “Chicago Poems” in particular, but I’ll look into them. I’m always open to new ideas and suggestions. Thanks again.



  2. Hi!
    Thought I posted here…but circled back around and don’t see a comment…….so, now here it is: thanks again for posting these! I’m enjoying this process of seeing what you’re sharing with your students…I just might learn something along the way! 🙂


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