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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sweet Words from Sugar Loaf Elementary School



Last week I received a cornucopia of poems from fifth graders at Sugar Loaf School. This is the time of year to use the word "cornucopia." Thanksgiving is nearly here, and just look at all those pumpkins, squash, and end of season vegetables and fruit brimming the grocery stalls and fruit stands! Now, poetry is brimming over my comment box! And I'm thankful for it. I promised the Sugar Loaf students a letter, and it will follow, but let me also say that each day from now till January 1, I will be using one of the 48 poems sent in my Nov. 12 comment box as the header to my post. I'll begin tomorrow, so even if you don't read anything else on the post, read the poem!

Dear 5th graders,
Thank you again for your fabulous poems. I feel like I've already had Thanksgiving Dinner! The photo above is of me and one of our 5 dogs, Byron. We call him Lord Byron because he acts like he's the lord of the family. I'm holdiing his head so he won't jump up and kiss me. I wasn't in the mood right then for a doggy kiss.

Your poems do what I always ask my writing students to do --to "bring it." And by that I mean to bring what matters to them to their poems. You have gone one step further by asking your readers to bring their joy, their sadness, their laughter, their hope, just to name a few, to you and you will make a poem of it and keep it safe. Or, in the case of Moonkeeper, you will keep the cold memories away so that you can be free of nightmares. Wow! I like that. And you know, right now we have a full moon, so this poem seems really appropriate. But then, each of these poems is approriate and on target because each has its own special voice, and I have taken a great deal of pleasure in reading them. As I mention above, each day I will post one at the top of my blogpost, and I will probably say a few words about the poem. By the time I've finished posting all of these--New Year's Day--maybe you will have another batch to send me!
I'll be sending you the surprise I promised. It may not arrive till after Thanksgiving, but it will definitely be there before Christmas vacation.
I hope the rest of your semester at Sugar Loaf goes well. You are my "Sugar Poets," and I congratulate you and your teacher(s) for the good work you've done.
Your friend, Kathryn Byer

4 comments:

doris diosa said...

Kay - i continue to love what you do with this website - the surprises and inclusivity; the information, the delight . . . and i LOVE this photo
of you, especially!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

thank you, doris diosa! You are always an inspiration to me, my cabbage sistah.

Teresa Smeeks said...

I am the Gifted teacher for Sugar Loaf elementary and I really appreciate your response to the 5th graders poems. Because you cared enough to read them and comment, they will continue to write poetry and enjoy it. I am going to show this to the other 4 schools I teach at to hopefully inspire those 5th graders to write poems too.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Teresa, thank you so much! This is what I want to happen around the state! And when your students write some poems, do send them on, as comments, and then I can respond to them, too!
Kathryn