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Showing posts from May, 2013


Pain wracks my brain.
Did I mention it hurts?
Of all the miseries...

This one will put me in a hearse.
For sure, it’s a headache,
A jab in the brain;

Lightning then rain.
Will no one give me rest?
Four little people running around,
Stomping and shrieking and shaking the ground.

I’m writing as my cranium throbs,
I guess we all have our things and our jobs,
My writing is soothing - to others it is pain?

Really, I could do without this in my brain.

--Chandler Hamby

Fantasy: What's not to love?

The Three Doors Trilogy
by Emily Rodda
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
published in 2011-2012 | Scholastic | 288 pages

Reviewed by Clare Cannon

I've always thought that the fantasy genre is like philosophy in images. Literary images. Metaphysical realities like good and evil, love and hatred, are visualised—in words—through a story which, though beyond our material reality, still has a very clear moral reality.

If you turn someone into a frog, your hatred has taken on a visual metaphor, and the consequences are evident. Fantasy can make hard to grasp realities just a little bit clearer.

Could any character better depict the bourgeois life than the humble hobbit? Or show the miserable, thuggish servitude of the cohorts of darkness than the death eater?

And so I believe it is important to introduce children to fantasy from a young age. Good fantasy, where these metaphysical truths—good and evil—are honoured and explored. C S Lewis or Lloyd Alexander are an obvious place to sta…

More Phrase Lyrics

More phrase lyrics. These were written by Middle School students. Their writing teacher is Hope Rapson. See the rubric here.

Sailing       By Gwyneth Elaine Berry
Gliding over the water The blowing of a gentle wind To lay on the deck of the boat Gliding over the water   To break from the busy day The laughing with family and friends Gliding over the water

Rain By Hannah O’Malley
Standing in the rain The rattle of steady drops To huddle in my jacket Standing in the rain To tromp through the deep puddles The chattering of joyous birds Standing in the rain

Dark Pines By Libby Myers
The smell of dark pines Tugging at my mind To be free in the forest The smell of dark pines To observe the secret life Standing among the trees The smell of dark pines

Pendulum By Nathan Johnson
Dancing behind glass The steady keeping of endless time To swing in perpetual motion Dancing behind glass To pace the busy day The keeper of life's timeline  Dancing behind glass

Why read old books?

Victor Davis Hanson

We all know the usual reasons why we are prodded to read the classics — moving characters, seminal ideas, blueprints of our culture, and paradigms of sterling prose and poetry. Then we nod and snooze.

But there are practical reasons as well that might better appeal to the iPhone generation that is minute-by-minute wired into a collective hive of celebrity titillation, the cool, cooler, and coolest recent rapper, or the grunting of “ya know,” “dah,” and “like.” After all, no one can quite be happy with all that.

Classics are more than books of virtues. Homer and Sophocles certainly remind us of the value of courage, without which Aristotle lectures us there can be no other great qualities. Instead, the Greeks and Romans might better remind this generation of the ironic truths, the paradoxes of human behavior and groupthink. Let me give but three examples of old and ironic wisdom.

I. The Race Goes Not to the Swift.

The problem with Homer’s Achilles or Sophocles’ Ajax wa…

Clause Poems

Clause Poem Rubric First Line:  Adverb clause ( ending with a noun or pronoun Second Line: Adjective clause (who/which) describing the previous noun or pronoun and ending with a verb, noun, or preposition Third Line: Noun Clause functioning as a DO of the preceding verb, APP of the preceding noun, or OP of the preceding preposition Fourth Line:  VVSS serving as a conclusion of the stanza’s (paragraph’s) thought.
God’s Rain By Hope Ellen Rapson

When I gaze through windows on a rainy day which seems to fill my whole world with tears shed by God just for me, I pray.
Where is the gray cloud of sin inside my soul which causes You, God, to singly send the pattering puddles I see? I ask.
Because I question my self-centered heart