Friday, August 15, 2014

Poetry Friday: To My Students




To My Students

I am the riverbank
and you are the water.
You flow past me
year after year
fresh 
eager
a little wild.

I do my best 
to ensure you
a safe passage
and teach you 
endurance
stability
and the ways of the world.

But you rush on.

Time passes.
You return
to the familiar banks,
the remembered curves and shallows.

I will not know you,
and yet I will have
a deep memory of your passing.
Your passing
wore me down
changed my direction
made me new.

©Mary Lee Hahn, date unknown



Yes, I used that photo for my SOL post on Tuesday. Then later on Tuesday, I filled a giant recycling can with most of the contents of a filing cabinet that then left my classroom, providing a space for a shelf (emptied of professional books which migrated to the back cabinet, which was emptied of...) yadda yadda blah blah classroom setup. That's not the point of this story (but maybe I'll share some before and after pictures next week).

The point being, as I browsed through folders before flipping them into the recycling can, I found a folder of my writing from years back, including this poem. It builds nicely on the fishing theme from my SOL post.

Heidi has the roundup this week at My Juicy Little Universe.


22 comments:

  1. That last stanza - it's what it's all about, Mary Lee: we are forever intertwined in some way with all the lives that flow in and out of our rooms, year after year.

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  2. So many names pass my way as I clean out files & share saved work from other years. So glad you found this Mary Lee-it fits beautifully doesn't it?

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  3. That was perfect. I loved it. I'm glad you found it!

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  4. Happy new school year ;-)

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  5. The picture and poem work perfectly together. I love the line: "But you rush on." So many people flow through our lives changing and shaping us. I'm glad you found this gem during your classroom setup, Mary Lee. = )

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  6. I love that you found this lovely poem while cleaning out a setting up for the school year. I've been so busy with that very thing that I couldn't get a post done. I'm trying to forgive myself.
    On my metal cabinet I have placed a lovely poem by you with a cat watching a squirrel. Thanks!

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  7. Date unknown, but forever fresh and relevant!

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  8. Like this a lot, Mary Lee. " I do my best/to ensure you/
    a safe passage" -- very nice!

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  9. Love these lines: Your passing
    wore me down
    changed my direction
    made me new.
    Yes, the students make us new. Lovely.

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  10. So glad you found this. I think this is the picture I liked from the July mosaic. My favorite lines:
    "I will not know you,
    and yet I will have
    a deep memory of your passing."
    All out students touch our lives. Lucky us!

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    Replies
    1. OUR students (sure wish I read more carefully)!

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  11. 1. I am putting this poem inside the door of the closet where I drop my bag and jacket every morning.
    2. I am putting this poem on paper and into every mailbox in the teachers' workroom (with your permission).
    3. I had no idea that you had a habit of beating yourself up for what you didn't "accomplish" each year.
    4. I am going "Trout Fishing in America" with you this year, 180 times or so.
    5. You are my personal National Teaching Treasure.

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    Replies
    1. 1. I am honored to start every day with you!
      2. Permission granted. Again, I am honored.
      3. Yup. But not this year.
      4. 180 fine little trips seems like a fun way to spend a year! I need to find a place to keep track of my daily "trout."
      5. Back Atcha.

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  12. I left a comment here yesterday, but I wonder if I clicked away before I finished the verification or something. Anyway, I'll try again! :)

    I love these lines:
    Your passing
    wore me down
    changed my direction
    made me new.

    ... and think of my husband and his students.... Beautiful, Mary Lee!

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  13. Next week is when the river in our neck of the woods will be fresh / eager / a little wild. I enjoyed this poem so much, Mary Lee. (And almost as much, your little exchange with Heidi above!) Especially fell in love with these last few lines:

    Your passing
    wore me down
    changed my direction
    made me new.

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  14. Beautiful poem, Mary and a keeper! (You didn't plan to throw it out, with the rest of the recycling, did you?) I like it that you surprised yourself with something you had written long ago and forgotten.

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  15. I loved this picture a couple of days ago and I love it now. I also love this poem metaphor. Amazing how we are shaped by this teaching thing, huh?

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  16. Beautiful picture and lovely poem - worth using again and again. I love the metaphor/theme upon which you are building!

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  17. BTW, your theme reminds me of Penny Kittle's Greatest Catch. I loved that book!

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  18. Mary Lee--Your poetry, your perspective/insights/wisdom and teaching spirit...I've searched for the words to make a sufficient comment ever since I read this post...Your students, colleagues, friends, family, blog readers are blessed to have you in their/our lives. You embody what it is to be a reflective learner. Thankfully you browsed through that folder, and fished out this poem to share here! Thank you for sharing!

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  19. Mary Lee--I SO hope you post this permanently in your classroom. It is your teaching heart in a poem. Love.

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  20. That just made me emotional reading that as I thought about you and sitting in our reading circle twirling my baby curls...I've always hated to read unless it involves you or poetry

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