Poetry 101

3 02 2011

“Never let a moment go by that doesn’t remind you that your heart beats 100,000 times a day/ that there are enough gallons of blood to make you an ocean”- Anis Mojgani

This week at work I started my poetry unit.  This is the time each year that reminds me why I teach.  Poetry is so powerful, but unfortunately most of my students have grown to hate it.  They think poetry is old, boring, dead.  And that is what I attempt to do: kill it.  I explicitly tell my students my goal is to destroy poetry, so then we can rebuild it, from the ground up, together.

This is probably one of the most difficult things that I do.  This is the time of the year that the students decide they like me or hate me, as I push their limits of understanding, push them to broaden their horizons, so they can look back at their former selves and wave goodbye or better yet, not look back at all.  If nothing else my students get to see something new: me- exposed, excitable, passionate.  Anyway, this is the time of year that I push my students to become learners, not just students.

I don’t talk about teaching much, I don’t talk about work (other than to complain, which I am working on… kinda…), I guess I’m not that guy.  Teaching is my job, and I love it, but it’s not who I am.  However, if you want to get to know me a little better, sit through these three poems by my favorite poet, Anis Mojgani.  I can’t play all of these for my students (there are some bad words), but if I could, I would. Be a 7th grader again: sit, listen, enjoy, learn.

“Welcome to Mr. Gonzalez’s 7th Grade Literature class, you have probably never heard poems like these.  Be careful, they might blow your mind”:

“Shake The Dust”

This one is where Vanessa’s tattoo came from: “Milos”

One last one.  If you have hung with me this far, thank you and now you have seen a part of me that most have not. “For those who can still ride in an airplane for the first time”






3 responses

4 02 2011
Dad "S"

I am so exhausted trying to comprehend everything Anis said, but he leaves me wanting more. Excellent post!!

7 02 2011

Enjoyed it.

13 02 2011
Mom Stevens

Thank you Miguel – for that brief glimpse into your soul.

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