Thursday, March 12, 2015

SOLC # 13 & Poetry Friday collide - Fri. the 13th trick!

Day Thirteen of the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge. I'm also blogging with students at Linda & Jonathan's Class Blog           Tweet at #SOL15
                Thanks to Tara, Dana, Anna, Betsy, Beth and Stacey for keeping on!



           One of my nicest poetry prompters is Laura Shovan, on her way to publishing a middle school verse novel, and celebrating her birthday month each year with a poetic challenge. This year, it was all about sounds, one of the sweetest devices in poetry, if you can manage them. Today Laura is our host for Poetry Friday! She blogs at Author Amok where you can find all the other wonderful Poetry Friday writers.  Thanks for hosting, Laura.


           I wrote a poem today for one of my grandfathers. Thinking of and writing about him connects me to today, Friday the 13th, this Poetry Friday. My grandfather was superstitious to the degree that I listened carefully to his tales and believed them. Sometimes actions show that I still do. Spilled salt, over the left shoulder. Never walk under a ladder. 




           In my childhood, I carried the lucky coin he gave me, picked up a penny and put it into my shoe like he told me, and stepped over the thirteenth stair in his house. There is more than one thing I bring along from my childhood, and this superstition is one that I sometimes hide. Do people still count on "lady luck", and still worry about cracked mirrors?


      Grandfather Told Me

It’s Friday and that dreadful day
the thirteenth, time to keep away
the bad luck brought. Here’s one they say:
Don’t let the mirror break.

I know the rules, they’re good to keep
hold lucky coins, and rabbits’ feet,
my umbrella’s closed indoors - repeat!
Keep safe for goodness’ sake.
Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved



          photo credit: Wheat Penny Tail  (Back) via photopin (license)

49 comments:

  1. What a lovely memory of your grandfather. The poem itself has such a fun rhythm and begs to be read aloud. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Max. He was a wonderful grandfather, and very superstitious!

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  2. Great poem! I love that it was written with your grandfather in mind!! I've always loved Friday the 13th. My mom was born on a Friday the 13th...so I feel like that day is GOOD luck...for me. :) Thanks Linda!

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    1. One of my colleagues' birthday is today, too, Michelle. I don't think anyone thinks much of this day anymore, but when I was growing up, they did.

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  3. This is great. I'm going to share it with my 2nd graders today. They love to talk about superstitions. I do follow them and have even created my own. I carry a brass cross someone gave me for Faith back in 1999. I've lost everything else in my life but this cross is always in my wallet. If it falls out (and it has), we all go crazy until we find it.

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    1. Oh, I should have asked everyone to share a superstition they have. Glad you have that special talisman.

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  4. Somehow I have let the superstitions fall away from my life. How funny your grandfather was full of them.

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    1. I have too, Elsie, but I still remember them.

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  5. I've heard of every one that you mentioned, so I guess I came from superstitious folk, too. A saying that came from my grandmother: Don't sew on Sunday or you will root out every stitch with your nose in heaven!

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    1. So funny to hear this. When I researched, I found many more that some people believe.

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  6. I was wondering if you still have the coin! A great poem to learn more about your grandfather.

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    1. I don't. I remember using it at ball games in high school, but after that, don't know. Thanks, Kendra.

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  7. Thanks, Linda. We do seem to be losing some of those superstitions as the generations change. My own kids are so science-minded! Thanks for sharing that special penny and the poem with us.

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    1. I should ask my students if they have any superstitions- we are caught in a story I'm ready & talking about writing!

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  8. What a nice poem and memory about your grandfather. I heed several superstitions too -- why take a chance? :) I never walk under ladders, like lucky pennies, and definitely worry about cracked mirrors. Then there are those interesting regional/cultural superstitions -- many I learned about Hawaii, especially the one about never taking any rocks/stones from ancient burial grounds. Tourists have taken such souvenirs only to have bad luck/illness when they got home.

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    1. My colleagues' class is going to Hawaii this spring Jama. I'll share this with him. Interesting.

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  9. What a lovely memory and poem to go along with it. I also try to never step on a crack.

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    1. That one too, seems like a silly one, too.

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  10. I love the rhythm of this, Linda - its chant like quality.

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  11. Loved your post and poem! I wrote about Fri. 13th as well.

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    1. Thanks, Beverley, will look for your post.

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  12. love your poem! It reminded me of my own grandfather and also my mother who were both very superstitious. I admit that I am a little bit too!

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    1. It's a topic I don't think I've ever even talked about with anyone, at least for a long time. I guess it will be interesting to discover if it is about age, interaction with grandparents, or ?

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  13. Grandfather and superstition - I learned something new about your past. We learn actions from our parents and grandparents and even later when we know it can't be true we continue doing it. I have hard time explaining to kids why they can't whistle inside, it really makes no sense to say that it invites fire, but every time someone whistles I am tempted to ask them to stop.

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    1. I know that one, and had forgotten it. Yes, my grandfather told us not to whistle in the house. Thanks, Terje.

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  14. What a fun poem! Your rhyme scheme was perfect for it. I love remembering how we get to stay connected with dear ones that are gone through remembering their stories.

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    1. Thank you. It is nice to write and remember.

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  15. A wonderful poem for today. Have you read Janet Wong's book on superstitions?

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    1. No! I will look for it, Jone. Am not aware of it. Thanks!

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  16. I'm not very superstitious, but I appreciate that some people very much are! Love your poem! It's great to keep your grandfather's stories alive. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Holly. I tried other ways of remembering Friday the 13th, but this came up in my words. I'm glad it did!

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  17. I remember as a child holding my feet up when we went over railroad tracks -- did you have that superstition? And holding your breath when you go past a graveyard?

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    1. No, I haven't heard of either of these, Tabatha, but we do try to hold our breath when we drive through tunnels. I'm not sure that's a superstition, but it came from somewhere?

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  18. Linda- I was so wrapped up with testing this week, I didn't even notice that it was Friday the 13th! How's that for clueless???? I love that you were able to wrap up all these superstitions and still have this great rhythm/rhyme! This will be fun to share with kids on the next Friday the 13th. Or sooner!

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    1. I thought about it mostly because we mourned the fact that Pi Day was today, & NOT during the week, & then noticed it was Friday the 13th. I've just slowly worked on this all week. I take my hat off to those of you doing testing. How challenging it must be. Thanks Carol, almost spring break!

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  19. I"m a little superstitious on Friday the 13th so I really can appreciate the idea that of not doing anything that could bring bad luck (I know it's silly), but your poem really capture it all so nicely and I love the rhythm of it. (I have a Churchill half crown my dad gave me that I carry to ward off bad luck._

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    1. I've enjoyed hearing others tell about their superstitions, Alex. Wonderful to hear about your half crown! Thanks!

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  20. I grew up with lots of superstitions, too! Just yesterday, I brushed an eyelash off a child's cheek and was disappointed that they didn't want to blow it away with a wish!

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    1. Thanks for sharing still another one, Mary Lee. I think I'm going to start collecting them!

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  21. Lovely poem, Linda. My mother passed along many superstitions to us. I still pick up those luck pennies!

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    1. Thank you, Tricia. I need to remember to ask my students.

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  22. I really like the rhythm and form that you chose for this poem, Linda, and that you've captured a unique memory of your grandfather this way. It's a fun read!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. I appreciate the comment.

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  23. Linda, I love the back story to your poem. A lovely memory of your grandfather. Your poem has a fun frolic mixed with request. I always enjoy reading your poetry.

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    1. Thank you, Mary Helen. Happy you enjoyed them. Looking forward to seeing you in June!

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  24. Fun poem, Linda! I inherited some "good luck" advice from my grandparents, too, so much so that I was the deathly afraid of the sweet black cat that lived next door. LOL

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    1. Oh no. My daughter & family just adopted another cat from our shelter & it's black. The only thing to be careful about I guess is to keep it safe on Halloween. There is still superstition I know around black cats. A poem, Bridget?

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  25. Linda, this is so interesting that your grandfather was superstitious. I never met anyone who really was but I still think about any day that becomes Friday the 13th. This year, I had such a fabulous day of professional development with the teachers in one of the districts that I had to laugh when I left the building. My day was quite a lucky day with them, full of aha moments.

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