Most of you who have read my posts perhaps have realized that I like poetry, a lot! I am excited that April is almost here, and I am writing and creating some ideas to do with students and for other teachers to do during poetry month when we return to school after break.
One of the things that I will miss this school year because I’m not in my own classroom anymore is finding and preparing a goodbye poem for my class. I collect poems with a ‘goodbye’ theme. Most of the time I have used them for the end of the year, but I also just collect them in my journals. For class, I have typed them, copied them onto colored tag, and laminated them to give on the last day of school. It’s part of the traditional closure activities that all of us do in one form or another. I realize that some students may not keep them, but students through the years return and ask if I am still handing out poems, and that she or he still had them.
So many of you have been kind and gracious enough to read and reply to what I’ve written that I am thrilled, grateful, and more than a little sad that the month is over. I have loved reading all of your posts, learning new ways to say things, learning that to dig deeply into feelings may be much of what writing is all about. It’s a wonderful trip that Two Writing Teachers has taken us on, and I appreciate it all.
I have written a goodbye poem to you all, to send you on your way back to your lives, wherever your paths take you. Best of my wishes to you.
They say it is a passing
of one condition, form, stage, activity, etc.
They say—for grace—
to show kindness, flexibility,
and again and again,
to be civil.
of any kind
that I resist
when saying goodbye.
In this exertion
I find myself
weak, flabby and uncoordinated.
I stumble, sigh
and finally cry.
Here also are a few goodbye poems from others I have collected – some are found in anthologies, but I was unable to find a link on the Internet.
“Thoughts That Were Put Into Words” - Karla Kuskin
found in Paul Janeczko’s The Place My Words Are Looking For
“The Gift” Gregory Denman
When You've Made it Your Own... Teaching Poetry to Young People
“On The Other Side of The Door” Jeff Moss from the book by the same name
“Leaving” Judith W. Steinbergh
Paul Janeczko’s Looking for Your Name : A Collection of Contemporary Poems
“Gather Ye Rosebuds’ Dorothy K. Fletcher