Friday, February 01, 2008

POETRY FRIDAY: The Poetry of Bad Weather

Having been a teacher most of my adult life, this poem spoke to me. It’s sad to think there are schools that have windowless classrooms like the one written of in this poem.

The Poetry of Bad Weather
by Debora Greger

Someone had propped a skateboard
by the door of the classroom,
to make quick his escape, come the bell.

For it was February in Florida,
the air of instruction thick with tanning butter.
Why, my students wondered,

did the great dead poets all live north of us?
Was there nothing to do all winter there
but pine for better weather?

Had we a window, the class could keep an eye
on the clock and yet watch the wild plum
nod with the absent grace of the young.

Click here to read the rest of the poem.

At Wild Rose Reader, I have a review of a Yum! Mmmm! Que Rico!: Americas’ Sproutings, a book of haiku poetry written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Rafael Lopez.

Click the links below if you’re looking for some children’s poetry books especially recommended for use during Black History Month.

Poetry Books for Black History Month

More Poetry Books for Black History Month

Karen Edmisten has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.


Tricia said...

There are many of these schools in Virginia (or at least I've seen many in this area and near the beach). Only four or five rooms in the entire building have windows. The rest are built in interior sections.

A good friend of mine taught in one such building. Teachers moved their rooms every year so that every few years a teacher got a room with windows. I couldn't imagine a whole year, let alone a week with kids in a room without them.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I taught in a building that had poor air quality for many years. I had windows in my room--but they barely opened. There was little exchange of air and no cross ventilation. Some other staff members and I often had respiratory ailments. When our adminstrators refused to do anything about the situation, we went to our Teachers Association. That's when we finally got some action!

laurasalas said...

Wonderful poem!

I taught in a portable in Florida for two years. No windows. But I often kept the door open if it was cool enough, and at least I could look outside (my desk was by the door), even though my poor kids couldn't!

Karen Edmisten said...

My husband taught for years in schools without air conditioning, but thankfully *with* windows, as September in Nebraska can be stifling. Great poem.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Laura & Karen--

I can tell you what I learned from my experience in education: The "powers that be" are rarely concerned about the conditions under which teachers are required to teach and children are expected to learn.

jama said...

What a great poem, though it's sad to hear about classrooms without windows. Fortunately, I never experienced this, either as a student or a teacher.

Mary Lee said...

I'm giving thanks right now for the window in my classroom. Unlike many teachers in my school, I situate my desk on the opposite side of the room from the window, so that the children will have access to this most precious bit of real estate. Our window looks out on twin teenage sweet gum trees that turn a kaleidoscope of colors in the fall. Yesterday, the view from the window showed fat flakes flying sideways, and despite the ruckus that caused, I did not pull the blinds.