Well, after an unplanned hiatus of some weeks, I'm back, drenched in triumphant relief (I made it through the first full-time year since 1998!) and in summer solstice sweat, proudly sharing a small, cooling moment mined from the piles of folders and composition books and other Stuff from School.
Here is Duncan's haiku, which was in part a 3rd-grade cursive-writing exercise. Dunc's not so practiced at pacing his cursive yet and ran out of room on the transparency he was writing it on--that's what all the blank space is for. Hence the nontraditional line breaks, which almost fooled his teacher into thinking it didn't fit the prescribed 5-7-5 syllable pattern.
Thorny vines reaching
Plants drooping under
Jack-Frost's spell of months
Here is the rubric by which his work was scored:
"My poem follows the rules of Haiku (3 points)
My haiku describes nature with descriptive words (2 points)
My handwriting is neat (1 point)
My picture describes my poem (1 point)
My poem has a title (1 point)"
-- for which last Duncan got 0 because he didn't include the title he selected above, resulting in an overall score of 6.5 out of 8 or a B. I love teachers, and we loved Duncan's teacher, but I always want the rubric, if poetry must have one, to include something like "My poem helped me see the world and use language in new ways, bringing joy to me and my readers." Self-assessed, of course!
Happy summer to all, and see you over at The Poem Farm, where I discover that Amy is sharing a song written with Barry Lane that captures, more catchily and poignantly, the exact same point that I'm making here about Duncan's "number." Thanks, Amy and Barry.
Addendum, 8:47am: Duncan came in as I was playing the song for the third time. When it finished, he said, "Wow. Montgomery County Public Schools certainly needs to hear this."