It’s Game Month

Like many other Poetry Friday folks, I’ve been participating in Laura Shovan’s February Poetry Project. The theme this month is games. Other than a daily obsession with a few of the NYTimes word games, I’m not really much of a game player. BUT, I do enjoy the challenge of a poem a day and plan to share a few of the poems I write this month here.

One of the prompts this week focused on the Olympic Games. My first thoughts were about watching gymnasts fly through the air. But then I went rogue, thinking about the school district that my kids attended many years ago which had a tradition of valuing sports above all else, and a motto of “Graduating Leaders.” I really didn’t intend to write a rant. (Perhaps I’m not being fair. There were plenty of wonderful teachers, great opportunities, and positive experiences at their schools. Perhaps I’ll rant anyway.)

“Graduating Leaders”—An Alternate View

Band kids. Theater kids.
Kids who are not jocks.
Math-letes. Science nerds.
Kids who pocket rocks.
Slow kids. Steady kids.
Kids who sit in back.
In the park. On the bus.
Kids without a pack. 
Loud kids. Quiet kids.
Trying to connect.
All kids. Every kid.
Worthy of respect.
--Buffy Silverman

Looking for some less ranty poetry? Head over to Reflections on the Teche where poet/teacher Margaret Simon has the Poetry Friday roundup.

18 thoughts on “It’s Game Month

  1. Oh, I love this, Buffy! And your qualifying statements felt so familiar to me. I’ve had several topics I want to write strongly opinionated poems about. But my poems are just about one tiny aspect of a bigger topic. And they capture my feelings as they are on one day. And so I’ve been self-censoring a bit, avoiding them, even though I know one poem could certainly never contain the multitude of opinions and feelings I have about war or love or whatever…Oi. Anyway, thanks for your lovely, gentle rant. So true.

  2. You already know how much I love this, but there you have it again. And I was so excited to see the photo of the star of the woodpecker poem on your FB page!

  3. Rant on, sister! One of my daughters was a “theater kid” and the other a “kid who pocket rocks”. Thanks for us this alternate view. 🙂

  4. Hear! Hear! I didn’t read it as a rant at first…but I also couldn’t understand the connection to the title until I read the word rant. I love this list of kids. They are all so wonderful in their ways. I wish that schools would be less focused on kids serving the institution and making the institution serve all the kids!

  5. Well done, Buffy! “Every kid worthy of respect” – yes! And thanks for the trip down memory lane with the Armour Hot Dog ad.

  6. I love this poetic rant. Every school should be for every kid. That’s not often the case. In our district we have students leaving in droves to go to a charter school. I could go on and on about the ways our system has failed them.

  7. Buffy, what a powerful poem! It is so true, but in addition to the content, I was fascinated by the meter — so much so that I had to diagram it. What a driving rhythm! It was ringing bells just out of reach. Then it hit me – a riff on the old Oscar Meyer jingle’s rhythm. I love it!!

      1. Ahhhhh – Armour, not Oscar Meyer! You are so right! Thanks for the link – in black and white (feeling old!). Apparently, some of the ads that were drilled into my head as a child are starting to fade, but the rhythm must reside deep in my brain stem! : ) I LOVE the idea of borrowing meter for poems though. I have heard people say that they borrowed meter for entire picture books. Some meter just works!


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