Saturday, April 14, 2018

National Poetry Month: Poem #14

 This is the longest poem I have chosen to quote--be glad it's not The Wasteland.
T. S Eliot is considered the eminent poet of the last century.
The metaphors are intoxicating.

1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

 by T. S. Eliot
        S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse

A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,

Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.

Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo

Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,

Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats        5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….        10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,        15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,        20
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;        25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;        30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go        35
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—        40
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare        45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,        50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
  So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—        55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?        60
  And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress        65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
  And should I then presume?
  And how should I begin?
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets        70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!        75
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?        80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,        85
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,        90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—        95
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
  That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,        100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:        105
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
  “That is not it at all,
  That is not what I meant, at all.”
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,        115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …        120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.        125

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown        130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

After reading this poem in 1970 in college, I deliberately chose not to 'measure out my life with coffee spoons.'
The Italian passage at the beginning is from Dante's Inferno:

 If I believed that my answer would be
To someone who would ever return to earth,
This flame would move no more,
But because no one from this gulf
Has ever returned alive, if what I hear is true,
I can reply with no fear of infamy. 

Was Eliot a British poet or an American poet? He immigrated to the U.K. But he didn't say he measured 'I measured out my life in teaspoons but coffee spoons.' He was, afterall, born in St. Louis Missouri.

T. S. Eliot 

April is National Poetry Month--Here Are Some Good Resources


1. National Poetry Month Is Here Again! 

2. Celebrate National Poetry Month with FREE POETRY! 

3. Integrating Daily Poetry in the Classroom: 5 Tools to Support Your Efforts 

My pocket, my favorite poem.

3. Poem In Your Pocket 

4. Poems at Home 

5.  National Poetry Month 

6.  The Poem Farm 


 8. Grand Slam: Performance Poetry Engages Students 

9. Getting to Know Your Students Through Poetry

10. National Poetry Month: Useful Resources for Teachers and Students 

Here are my poetic posts up to 4/13 (will bring this current soon):

11. MzTeachuh's Poetry Corner 

Poet of Poets


Educational Links 4/15/18

10 Staggering Statistics About Struggling Readers and Reading Growth

Nation’s Report Card Shows Students With Disabilities Lagging

STEM Is Far More Than the Lone Genius

10 Tips For Getting Started With Mindfulness In The Classroom

Social Media Posts as Exemplars

The ADHD Homework System We Swear By

Why Teachers Should Help Students Learn Effective Study Strategies

Some of the best learning strategies aren’t often used by teachers or students largely because of time pressures in the classroom. Frequent low-stakes quizzes that force students to recall information from their memories, combined with spaced out practice show some of the clearest results.

National Poetry Month: Poem #13

“We Real Cool,” 

by Gwendolyn Brooks

We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Gwendolyn Brooks

Friday, April 13, 2018

Educational Links 4/14/18

Episode 10: Teaching Civil Discourse with Amanda Smithfield

Three Ways to Create Interactive Images & Diagrams

It’s Time to Address Teacher Bias Against Special Education Students

The Need for Teacher Creativity

Why American Students Haven't Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years

New Report Shows School Funding Gaps Based on Race and Poverty

Student-Centered Planning

Planning instruction around students’ readiness, interests, and learning preferences empowers them to drive their own learning.

Bob Dylan Won the Nobel Prize in Literature. How Does It Feel?


Bob Dylan

I first published this series on the Greatest Rock Poets (term 'rock poet' first used by John Lennon to describe Woody Guthrie)in 2012 when MzTeachuh first started out. I have always contended lyrics can be the finest of poetry. Now I feel very validated.

Who's the Greatest Rock Poet? Nomination #1 

Some say Bob Dylan is the greatest rock poet. My text book on Poetry, as an English Lit. major at Mount St.Mary's College, has the text of 'Mediterrean Homesick Blues' as a poem worth studying; included by X. J. Kennedy, the compiler. This was back in 1969! I'll nominate Bob Dylan--incredible metaphors and poetic rhythms. Much better poetry than music, in my opinion.

Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone (ORIGINAL)

Like A Rolling Stone

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you ?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.


How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone ?

You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it
You said you'd never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but know you realize
He's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And say do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone ?
You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone ?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you'd better take your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone ?

I took this poem/song as a cautionary tale and led a quiet life. 

Greatest Rock Poet (#1 Nomination Again) All Along the Watchtower 

Watchtower II, Igor Pozdnyakov

 Bob Dylan's poetry again.

All Along the Watchtower

"There must be some way out of here" said the joker to the thief
"There's too much confusion", I can't get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.
"No reason to get excited", the thief he kindly spoke
"There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late".

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

All Along The Watchtower --Jimi Hendrix


Teaching Is Creating A Living Classroom

Teaching Secrets: Arranging Optimal Classroom Seating 

Bulletin Boards 

 Easy, Effective Way to Display Student Work in the Classroom

I'm so curious as to who they are.

Displaying Student Work

An opportunity for student-teacher collaboration 

The Teacher Report: 7 Creative Approaches to Classroom Seating 

Classroom Jobs for All Your Student Helpers 

Teaching As Leadership Classroom Jobs 

 The Clutter-Free Classroom


Classroom Organization 

Creating a Classroom Community 


STEM Activities For Your Classroom

Urban  Community and School Gardens

Best cheap easy STEM? Go outside. Grow a garden.

And these folks in Nevada are in Nevada gardening! No excuses now! Plus, your student may live in a food desert, and learning to grow easy veggies could literally save lives. Just a laundry basket of potatoes would help.  Growing Potatoes in Containers

School Gardens 

Check EarthSky News every day! Assign a student to report!

Moon, Saturn, Mars on March 27-28 

Classroom Activities (Science)

Engineers in the Classroom

20 Ways Teachers Are Using Legos in the Classroom 

Classroom Math Games That Will Have Your Students Begging For More!!

8 Ordinary Things That Look Insanely Cool Under a Microscope 




Please, please, teacher, let us do something cool we can post on Instagram!