back to trying to come up with thoughtful titles

[Before I write, today Brent and I officially started P90X workouts. I am so sore and it is only 2 hours since the workout...I don't even want to know what tomorrow morning will feel like! Ugh! Micah, I am proud of you!]

I mentioned in my last post that I cleaned up around our desk and computer [our office, if you will]. During that cleaning I found what looked like a scrap of notebook paper. However, upon further inspection I realized there was a poem written on it entitled: Teaching Shakespeare to Freshman. I looked in past blog archives and I don't think I ever shared it on here. It really brought me back to my student teaching experience and the time I spent hashing out Romeo and Juliet with my group of Freshman. It was a wonderful experience, but at times I questioned how much they were really understanding. This is the poem that was birthed from that experience [if you've read the play, this may make more sense].

Teaching Shakespeare to Freshman

kids in a classroom
eyes hungry and tired
listening absently

they want more than
Romeo and Juliet's words
they want to
"lips doing what hands do"

and they want to feel
the poison
on their lips

"oh give me my sin again"

they misbehave because they don't understand
the significance of lord capulet disowning his daughter

they misbehave because they don't understand
the reason their father disowned them

"a rose by any other name
would smell as sweet"
and the girls think it's romantic
the boys

Juliet is a "house bought but not yet owned"
and there are no snickers
or laughter
so it's obvious they don't understand
or their puberty
could not refrain from laughing

how do i reach them-- how do i touch them
timeless words
how do i show them meaning
in the midst of
real tragedy

tragedy, comedy, history
they see this everyday
and they scream from their desks
'let the show begin'

their boredom consents
but not their will
and i pay their poverty
and i don't know if they understand
or if i've hit a nerve

but i hope they see beauty
if no where else
and that as they taste the words
of the play that they
taste life


Micah Wolf said...

You can do it!!!!! Today was day 78 for me....they have really flown by though they don't seem to get any easier....we are almost done with the hard stuff and on to the last recovery week. if only I had been following the nutrition plan...did you guys get that?

Kali said...

Thanks for explaining "a house bought but not yet owned"...not sure I would have caught that either. Maybe I need to go back to freshman English.

Also, can you please post (or e-mail me) the story you wrote for our Christmas book about your relationship w/ Mom while you were in high school? You know which one I'm talking about? I want to send that to Dan's mom if that's ok (or send her to your blog to read it). Thank you!

P.S. Can't wait to see you!!

bridger said...

Great post Kelsey. I think you speak for teachers everywhere. So many times we can only truly savor the taste of a masterpiece after we've marinated in the experiences of our own lives. You can only expose youth to great works of art and let their reaction tell you about their life experience to that point. I guess that's why people read, listen or view art over and over throughout their lives. It's not the work that changes each time, but the life behind the eyes of the beholder.