Teachers Act Up!

Thoughts on Teaching, Language, and Social Change from Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor

Big league or did he say bigly

Here is my draft poem for class this week where we read Roethke’s “Dolor”–I tell my students to check their syllable counts (assignment is 10+ this week per line); review for “cliché,” power up verbs, make sure there’s music, grounded imagery, that their politics not be too heavy handed (or to absent).

I say: Work your words.  They matter.

response to this article and so much more: NYTimes Article


Sentence Diagram Dolor (draft)

after T. Roethke



I have known the relentless rules of grammar,

walls drawn between verbs and their subjects, direct

objects like trailing spouses, the burden

of adjectives describing hand sizes, pricking

nouns’ softened bellies, lead mistakes blurred

by pink erasers’ bluster, tear of ruled

paper, narrow blue lines, red cheeked errors

mudded with white out, the wet waiting to reclassify.

And I have winced at the confusion of phonics:

“big league” or did he say “bigly” to boast cuts

in taxes, regulations, speed by which we sign

protest, beg language to govern again, coordinate

bent and broken lines to unify and rise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: