Love Poem for a Tree

Posted February 23, 2016 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

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Love Poem for a Tree

(Inspired by Pablo Neruda)

By Ms. Siegel’s Class

In the morning your branches wave in the wind.

My eyes hunt for your beauty–you’re something no one has ever noticed.

I cherish your gorgeous trunk that reaches to the clouds.

I adore your green leaves that sway in the sky.

Nothing will separate us, not a wall of stone or a strong hurricane.

Our love is fiercer than an army at war.

I will never leave behind your rough bark.

I will treasure you more than gold and emeralds and iPads.

In the evening when I walk by, you will smile at me, and I will hug you.

How the Sea Got Its Salt

Posted October 19, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Si todos los rios son dulces/De donde saca sal el mar?  –Pablo Neruda

         Once there was a little pirate who lived on a ship in the ocean.  One morning he got two women to do a job for him.  He asked them to spin the salt in a bowl for a whole day and a whole night.  The women did a very good job, but they didn’t stop after one day and one night.  They kept spinning the salt.  When the salt was piled high, high, high, the pirate yelled, “Stop!”  But, the women still didn’t stop.  They kept spinning the salt until the boat started to tip.  Everything fell into the ocean—the pirate, the women, and the salt.  The salt kept spinning and made a whirlpool.  The pirate drowned.  The women turned into birds and flew back to the sweet rivers.  And the salt stayed in the sea.

By Jennifer, age 10

Ode to Bicycles

Posted May 31, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

When WITS writers teach a lesson, they don’t have to look far for inspiration.  WITS writers understand that everything in the world is up for grabs when it comes to engaging subject matter. We encourage children to look at the world around them and pick objects and activities that resonate with what they like to do.

I remember one 3rd grade boy named Sebastian who could never think of new subject matter.  He often complained that he didn’t want to write “dumb poems about flowers and stars.”  So, I asked him what he liked to do and found out he loves to ride his bike. The following week I brought him a poem called “Ode to Bicycles” by Pablo Neruda.  Neruda’s poem didn’t have a magical effect on Sebastian’s poetic output (he still had a hard time getting started), but it did seem to surprise him.

May is National Bicycle Month, and I always think of Sebastian and wonder where he is and what he is writing about as a teenager.  In honor of Sebastian, here is another bicycle poem.

Maybe Alone On My Bike

I listen, and the mountain lakes

hear snowflakes come on those winter wings

only the owls are awake to see,

their radar gaze and furred ears

alert. In that stillness a meaning shakes;

And I have thought (maybe alone

on my bike, quaintly on a cold

evening pedaling home), Think!–

the splendor of our life, its current unknown

as those mountains, the scene no one sees.

O citizens of our great amnesty:

we might have died. We live. Marvels

coast by, great veers and swoops of air

so bright the lamps waver in tears,

and I hear in the chain a chuckle I like to hear.

By William Stafford

by Marcia Chamberlain, Writers in the Schools