Poetry Friday is hosted by Penny @ A Penny and Her Jots!
We are in a new normal now – first, Trump issues another edict in blatant disregard of our Constitution and values, then we rise up to protest. No sooner had news of the Immigration Ban been announced, than more news followed: spontaneous rallies at airports and cities, petitions being taken up, and social media flooded with new petitions to sign and information to forward. To #Resist is my new normal:
As the weekend unfolded, I knew that there was only one poem I could share with students for our Poetry Thursday:
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
I knew that some of the words and references would be difficult for my sixth graders, but I have come to rely on their ingenuity, curiosity, and our class philosophy: when in doubt, look it up! The main thing was to get at the heart of Lazarus’ message, and why it should resonate powerfully today.
Here’s what some of them had to say:
What can I say? My kids make me weep. They are so good and want what is good…and our world has turned dark. So, how to keep their faith, tell the truth, and shepherd them through this time? Thank goodness for poetry, and the way it provides a venue to keep the faith, tell our children the truth, and shepherd them through dark days.