But all they want to do/ is tie the poem to a chair with rope/ and torture a
confession out of it….
From “Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins

Hanging Fire by Audre Lorde
I am fourteen
and my skin has betrayed me
the boy I cannot live without
still sucks his thumb
in secret
how come my knees are
always so ashy
what if I die
before the morning comes
and momma’s in the bedroom
with the door closed.

I have to learn how to dance
in time for the next party
my room is too small for me
suppose I die before graduation
they will sing sad melodies
but finally
tell the truth about me
There is nothing I want to do
and too much
that has to be done
and momma’s in the bedroom
with the door closed.

Nobody even stops to think
about my side of it
I should have been on Math Team
my marks were better than his
why do I have to be
the one
wearing braces
I have nothing to wear tomorrow
will I live long enough
to grow up
and momma’s in the bedroom
with the door closed.

Will you please tell me:
Who is speaking in the poem?
The poem is being spoken by a young girl.
How are they speaking to the reader?
The girl is speaking to the reader in first person because, in parts of the poem she says things like “I”.
What do you think this poem is about?
I think this poem is about a young teenage girl and her insecurities. She talks about how people don’t even stop to listen to what its like for her. She speaks about that in there. (What is “that in there?”)
What is the speaker worried about?
She is worried about not being able to dance at the next party, or having new clothes. She is worried about her appearance. (Can you describe this worry in a general way, rather than giving examples?  What do all of the examples together mean?)
What else can you figure out about the state of mind of the writer?
She is very cautious. She worries a lot about what people think of her, and is always trying to change herself. (Change herself for what reason?)
Why does the poet repeat “and momma’s in the bedroom with the door closed?”
I think it means that while everything is going on in her life, she feels that her mother is closing her off, and she has no one to talk to about it. (Give me one word to describe her emotions.)
What do you think you know about the poet after reading this poem? What
specifically in the poem reveals their character/emotions/fears?
Maybe her life growing up wasn’t that great, that she had some hard times. She feared what people thought of her, and wanted to be almost like a perfect person.
Do you ever feel like the writer of this poem?
I feel like her sometimes. When i feel like i need to newest clothes to look good, or i feel like i should have gotten something that i didn’t. (Is a small i the way this pronoun written?  We are not texting in this assignment.)
Where does the poet use language in surprising ways?
I did not see any language used in surprising ways.
Is the poet complaining? Why or why not?
In a way she is complaining, but in a way she isn’t. She talks about how no one listens to her side, and how she should have been on the math team instead of him. That sounds like complaining, but in a way she is just telling her story.
Is there conflict in this poem? Is it internal or external? How do we know?
There is conflict in this poem. Its is internal conflict. She is basically in conflict with herself. Fighting about how she should look, how she should act and be. (Where do these “shoulds” come from?)

I just finished reading a book called “Swan Town” by Michael J. Ortiz. It is a book written in the point of view of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna.

I think the author wrote this book because he wanted something new and different out there. I don’t think there are many books written from his daughters point of view. You always here about Shakespeare and what a great writer he was, but you don’t really hear or learn anything about his family, or how they lived while he was away in London working. The theme of the book, I think, is really telling what it might be like to be Shakespeare’s daughter. It tells about the way life for her and her family was, about how her little brother died, and the sacrifice her uncle made. Although it may not be exactly correct of how she lived, its a good way to get a feel of it.

   For my “English” class, my mom is having me read Swan Town. It is a book written in the point of view of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna. She writes about how women are not allowed to be in the theater, and how much she wants to be. The reason for me reading this book is, since I was studying Shakespeare in school, my mom thought it would be a good book for me to read.

    Right now,what  my teacher is teaching/showing in class, my mom does not think is appropriate for school because it shows teenagers nude and having sex.  My teacher does not answer my moms emails, so until someone decides to talk to my mom, this is what I’ll be doing.

Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.

So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising

Maura and Patrick have escaped the desperate poverty and danger of leaving home in Ireland to face even greater peril as they continue their daring voyage to the New World with their friend Laurence Kirkle. Aboard ship, they are crowded into the stench-filled pit of steerage, where they come face to face with illness and death, trying their best comfort and protect eight-year-old Bridy, who has lost both her parents. They find themselves at the mercy of fellow passengers—shady characters like Mr. Shagwell, an American in dire need of cash, and the conniving Mr. Clemspool, who sails first-class with young Mr. Grout, haunted by his criminal past. Ahead lies their future in America, fraught with danger and more crisis than they ever anticipated.

This summer I took a Cosmetology class at a place called KCC (King Career Center).  At first I was really looking forward to going to class, but once I got there I was disappointed.  All we did was sit there in the lab and do our hair. The first day she did show us a demo on how to shampoo hair, but that was it.

I hoped it would get better as the class kept on, but it didn’t. We were basically allowed to do whatever we wanted. We were allowed to take naps as long as it was on the facial beds so that way if somebody walks in and asks why that girl is sleeping, we can say she’s getting a facial. We could curl, straighten, and style our hair, but after a few days of doing that it got boring. Not to mention all the heat damage done to it in those 2 and a half weeks.

We could do manicured also, but if yours were already done, you didn’t want to take off all the work and redo it. The lights in the lab were off most of the time, so it was made even harder for all of us to stay awake. If we did fall asleep at out chair we got in  trouble. You are also not allowed to read anything in class unless it has to do with Cosmetology. Which is just a bunch of pointless magazines…. and not even the kind I like to read!

I must have read at least four books at that class.  If the teacher caught you reading a regular book, which she did with me….. a lot, she would tell you to put it away. When that happened to me, I would either read it underneath the table, or go out into that lab in the dark corner and read. If she came by, I just closed the book and pretended to do my hair.

Here is something i wrote on a piece of paper in the middle of class

By the last two days of school, i was so bored out of my mind that i didn’t feel well enough to last through the full  day of school, and stayed home  the last day because i still wasn’t feeling well.

(Photo from Anchorage School District website. The front of King Career Center, Anchorage, Alaska behind Wendler Middle School.)

Eleven-year-old Harriet Whitehead is an outsider in her own family. She feels accepted and important only when she is entrusted to write letters for her blind stepmother. Then Nat Turner, a slave preacher, arrives on her family’s plantation and Harriet befriends him, entranced by his gentle manner and eloquent sermons about an all-forgiving God. When Nat asks Harriet for a map of the county to help him spread the word, she draws it for him—wanting to be part of something important. But the map turns out to be the missing piece that sets Nat’s secret plan in motion and makes Harriet an unwitting accomplice to the bloodiest slave uprising in U.S. history.Award-winning historical novelist Ann Rinaldi has created a bold portrait of an ordinary young girl thrust in to a situation beyond her control,


Review by

Next Page »