Friday, February 19, 2021

Poetry Friday -- Prioritizing

 

image via Unsplash


It's good to be back. I got overwhelmed by online teaching and a couple of other projects that landed on my plate. I felt like something had to give, and that something was Poetry Friday. All of my writing energy needed to be directed to the other projects. The time I spent on Saturday mornings with a cup of tea and the Poetry Friday roundup would be better spent on those projects or on school work.

Thank goodness for snow days. We've had the Gift of Time three Tuesdays in a row, and my pressure valve is back to a more livable level. (The house is also just a wee bit cleaner, too.)

And thank goodness for Lent. Although neither of us is particularly religious, a friend from college and I have been using Lent as a time to set goals and cheer each other on. My goal for this year is to write a small poem every day. One haiku, one acrostic, one Golden Shovel. Just a few words. But I want to -- I NEED to -- recover my writing life...and my connection to this Poetry Friday community. Hopefully, this Lenten recharge will give me the boost I need to do a Poetry Month project in April.

Yesterday, Audre Lorde was featured in the Google Doodle, and coincidentally, was featured in my daily ancestor acknowledgement. I explained "intersectionality" to my students for the first time in my career. Then we went on to watch the episode of QED With Dr. B "What is Race?" to provide common language and baseline information for next week when we tackle our social studies standards about culture, cultural diversity, and mainstream culture. I have to get past my fear of making mistakes in these conversations, because the conversations are too important NOT to have.


Your silence will not protect you. -- Audre Lorde

Talking openly with your
students about race is necessary. Silence
is fear, and fear will
keep you frozen. You will not
grow without risk, and neither will they. You can't protect
them from hard truths, so invite them to explore and learn along with you.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021 (draft)



Ruth has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town.


12 comments:

  1. Welcome back, Mary Lee! And yes, I too am grateful for snow days. Your bravery is inspiring. I love your commitment to the conversation with students about race, and to your writing life too. The poem is wonderful! Keep going. xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lent is such a great time to turn inward, to connect with the creativity in you. I send positive vibes your way for a productive and spiritual building lent. I agree...silence is not productive. Our students need us to speak, teach, listen as best we can. I'm so glad you are engaged in Poetry Friday again. It's better with you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good to have you back! Wonderful golden shovel. Wishing you a good Lenten season writing a small poem every day. Admire your conviction!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've missed you and I'm glad you're all right and unswamping. This month in PreK we are on "My Healthy Body," to be followed by something that is so far called "How to Be a Good Friend." I want so much to address race, but I also want to honor how little context there is for egocentric 4-5's. That is among the most striking of striking lines, and fear WILL keep us frozen. I anticipate meltdowns and must be brave.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm glad to see you back! Your GOlden Shovel is perfect. Silence does not help, but I am often frozen by my fear of saying the wrong thing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have been engaging in a conversation with my 5th graders about race. It's not as hard as it sounds because mostly I just listen. They have a lot to say and I should listen. Welcome back. It's hard to leave such a wonderful, supportive community. The doors are always open. You know it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's so nice to see you here on PF again, Mary Lee, & to read your words that always teach me & inspire me, too. I don't have a class anymore but I have grandchildren to talk to. It is time to start talking & stop being afraid we could make a mistake. The strike line - truth! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for your poem and your post, I applaud all your endeavors with your students especially these dialogues on race–I'm interested in listening to your link from Dr. B–we just discussed a Claudia Rankine poem yesterday in a Poetry Foundation workshop, and I think a primer on race and conversation before would have benefited us all… While I agree it's important to speak out, what we say today in this area and to a screen can be easily misconstrued. Thanks also for the Audre Lorde link.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yay! So good to 'hear' your voice and read your words again, Mary Lee. Your golden shovel is exactly what society needs to hear, "You will not grow without risk". :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm glad you got some time to rest and breath and to share this post. Your poem is an inspiration for all to speak up about race and injustice, even if we are afraid we won't do it right. "Silence is fear and fear will keep you frozen."

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you so much for sharing your words, Mary Lee. Yesterday I had a conversation with my critique group around misperceptions of race and culture. It was sometimes uncomfortable, but oh so necessary to understand and grow.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So glad that you are back with us, Mary Lee. I applaud your efforts to speak openly with your students about tough issues. The quote you chose by Lord is a powerful one that opens your thoughts to your mission as a teacher.
    ou can't protect
    them from hard truths, so invite them to explore and learn along with you.
    Thanks for sharing the Google Doodle and your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete

Wait for the site to stop loading (or stop the loading) so your comment doesn't disappear. We value your contribution to the conversation!