Friday, January 22, 2010

The Swing

The Swing


How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child could do.




Up in the air and over the wall,

Till I can see so wide,

Rivers and trees and cattle and all

Over the country side-



Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown -

Up in the air I go flying again,

Up in the air and down.


Robert Louis Stevenson




"This couldn't be a poem!", was my first reaction when I found this poem. I was a young teacher, flipping through a new poetry anthology in my 2/3 multi-age classroom, it was actually my first year of teaching. This is a SONG my Grandmother would sing to me while she pushed me on a swing. It has a tune. She must of tweaked the words, I know she said something about Leonard's farm. This all ran through my head at the time. See, my grandmother lived in the country, she had some acres, with a garden, cows next door and a swing out back to an old tree just for our enjoyment. I spent so many hours there growing up and the whole image that floods to my mind is as clear as if I was there doing it all again. Poetry is a wonderful text to use for connections, fluency, word work, mental images, but most of all enjoyment. Embrace poetry without dissecting it first.

I currently have this poem in a collection put together by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, Here's a Little Poem. A subtitle for this book is, A Very First Book of Poetry. Which is so true. I bought this for my youngest as a toddler and wish I had it for the two older girls. She would request poetry for her bedtime read aloud as a preschooler. The illustrations done by Polly Dunbar are very delightful, colorful, and whimsical. We should expose our youngest learners to more poetry. I need to think about that more and these thoughts about embracing it without dissecting it in the classroom.

6 comments:

  1. This has long been one of my favorites, Mandy. Thanks for sharing. I'd LOVE to hear it sung!

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  2. Love that poem! It is always kind of singy in my head so your version on the farm is just right.

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  3. I've always loved that poem! I love the idea of it as a song!

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  4. I have so many good memories of time spent on a swing!

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  5. Wishing you could sing it for us. I'd love to hear the melody!!

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  6. p.s. I read this to my kids tonight and they knew it from watching Bullwinkle!!

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