Thursday, December 8, 2011

The World is Too Much With Us

You may be familiar with William Wordsworth's poem, "The World is Too Much With Us."  It is a poem about the loss of wonder and imagination in a fast-paced, secular world.  In an eighth grade Advanced class, students lifted the first two lines of this classic and then developed it into a poem about the materialism they observe in the world around them.  This linked to their study of the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451.  Collin V., an eighth grader, wrote the following poem, using Wordsworth's first two lines. 

The world is too much with us, late and soon.
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers,
Going to the grocery store to buy meaningless flowers.
Everyday our spending grows, it towers.
We waste our time in buying junk.
It piles up like useless gunk.
We think it's fun,
What we should shun.
Getting and spending we lay waste our power,
Mindlessness grows, and our wallets cower. 

Collin V., eighth grader

P. S.  One student commented during class, "Is Wordsworth his real last name?  It's no wonder he became a poet!"  While we can't reveal Collin's last name, we can tell you it has quite a poetic ring to it too!

drawing by Josephine D.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Illness Personified

This poem, written by a seventh grader at Holicong, demonstrates the power of personification.  It's as if we can see the illness, reach out and touch him.  Creepy, but powerful!

Also notice the economy of words in this poem.  None of the individual words are extraordinary, but each word seems perfect in its place, and together they are marvelous.

A Cranky Poison

I saw Illness clearly. 
He had pale skin, weak arms, and slouched shoulders.
He whipped around fast and snapped his head.
I saw darkness in his treebark-brown eyes; the sadness was stark.
I heard a crackle in his voice, a horrible sigh, and a chop in every word.
I felt my heart in my gut.
I can't do anything to help.
Only hope remained. 

Taylor E., seventh grader