Monday, April 28, 2008

April is National Poetry Month

Poet William Carlos Williams ate the plums his wife was saving for breakfast, and, as the story goes, he left this poem of apology in their place:

This is just to say /I have eaten the plums
that were in the icebox
and which you were probably
saving /for breakfast
forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet/and so cold

Using that poem as a model, Mrs Merz asked her sixth grade class to write poems of apology, and they ended up liking their poems so much, they put them together in a book. Not only that, but they got the people to whom they apologized to write poems back. Then they asked one of their artistic classmates to illustrate the poems.

In haiku, pantoums, two-part poems, snippets and rhymes, Mrs. Merz's class writes of crushes, deception, overbearing parents, loving and losing pets, and dodge ball accidents. Some poets are deeply sorry, some not at all. Some are forgiven, some are not! But, each pair of poems reveals a relationship, a connection - between sisters, brothers, students father and son, teacher and student, and best friends.
Here is part of Carmen's poem to Mrs. Merz
I am so sorry for my rude words.
The class was so dead/No one had anything more to say about Old Yeller
and we were all crazy to go outside.../so I raised my hand and made that comment
about your dress/and everyone laughed....
(P.S. I notice you're not wearing that dress so much anymore./Green is not good on you anyway. I like the new one with blue in it, which makes you look thinner.)
What sort of apology poem would you write?