I spent a very frustrated class period with my seventh grade the other day, trying to get them interested in Chinese poetry. Many Chinese poems of the Song and Tang Dynasties consist of very long titles and very short poems, so I wanted them to write a few. It was very difficult to get them to sit still and try.
Finally, I just created this poem on the fly, and formed the branch with a bird (I need to re-read the Mustard Seed Garden Manual‘s section on birds) as a way of dealing with my own difficulties with this class. It wasn’t a bad exercise, but I wish I had a few poems of theirs to share, rather than my own.
The poem reads…
My class becomes distracted by a titmouse hanging on an icy branch at the window; angry, I wrote this poem
bird happily — my
fury can only point
at the clock in rage.
It’s not bad, I guess. But it’s not particularly good, either.