My Classroom, Back in Indiana

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My Classroom, Back in Indiana

Post  Pat on Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:36 pm

Long and I need help cutting.  I trust you guys have scissors.  Anything else.  Thank you.
Hope this comes out as couplets.  

My Classroom, Back in Indiana
 
All hallways now resemble that one
leading to a room with high windows
 
and high ceilings, rows of desks
fastened one to another.
 
Each wooden desktop
displayed a hole, a black well,
 
a dark mystery to seventh graders.
As the new teacher from Arkansas,
 
I had a slow and friendly drawl,
different from other teachers.
 
At first, they made fun of my sound,
then embraced it.
 
My students struggled with grammar,
hairdos, jokes, sweaty bodies, hormones,
 
but they were fluent in basketball
and finding mushrooms in the woods.
 
They trailed into my classroom
with awkwardness, ponytails, stories.
 
We studied subjects & verbs and read
heartaches from Robert Frost,
 
Ann Franke, William Shakespeare.
We shared stories that sometimes related
 
to a lesson. That’s all it took to be blessed
with a joy none of us understood.
 
Now when I’m in a long hallway,
I can hear their rolling laughter,
 
and lightning words. If a door opens,
I'm going in.

Pat

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Join date : 2011-09-12

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Re: My Classroom, Back in Indiana

Post  Karen on Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:08 pm

Wowie.  This has lots of potential -- but I agree it needs tightening.

How about a more specific title?  Can you use the name of the small town where the poem is set?  Maybe Classroom: ________, Indiana.

I took a stab at trimming the start:

All hallways now lead to a room
with high windows and high ceilings,


Rows of black wells, desks
fastened one to another.

 
I love they were fluent in basketball.

Typo, no "e" in Ann Frank.

Please keep

If a door opens,
I'm going in.

Karen

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Join date : 2014-10-25
Age : 64
Location : North Little Rock

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Thanks, Karen and Dewell

Post  Pat on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:18 pm

I want to put the revised poem up.  Thank you, Karen and Dewell.  Helped me take out my scissors.  I know it is TMInformation, overwhelmed myself with it too.  Hard to cut anything I know about these sweet kids.  It is rough and raw here.  New.  : )   Here's where it is right now:  

My Classroom in Needmore, Indiana
All hallways now resemble that one
leading to a room with high windows
 
and high ceilings, rows of desks
fastened one to another.
 
Each wooden desktop
displayed a hole, a black well,
 
adding dark mystery
for seventh grade girls.
 
Students struggled with grammar,
hairdos, jokes, pierced ears, hormones.
 
But not so in basketball.
No awkwardness, no missteps.
 
They had what it took on the court:
legs, opportunity and fluency.
 
The key to grammar—
seeing a teacher cheer them onward.
 
From that point on,
a joy none of us understood.
 
When I’m in a long hallway,
I sometimes can hear their rolling laughter,
 
and lightning words. If a door opens,

I’m going in.

Pat

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Addendum

Post  Pat on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:21 pm

The poem should be all couplets.
The title is now:  My Classroom in Needmore, Indiana.  (Thanks Karen.)

Pat

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Re: My Classroom, Back in Indiana

Post  Karen on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:52 pm

Needmore.

The town name couldn't be better!

Karen

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Only a teacher knows

Post  Dennis 2012 on Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:41 pm

Pat,  Good poem.  I see and hear it as if I were back in school.  The echo in the halls that you almost mentioned.  High ceilings and windows, ah yes, that too. I would offer this snip: omit the  couplet, "from that point on/a joy none of us understood."  That is more telling than showing. 
Dennis

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