- by Lisa Ellis, 2nd grade, Talbott Springs Elementary School.
Published in The Columbia Flyer
In the Second Grade, my teacher, Mrs. Allen, gave us a poetry challenge.
The subject was spring, and was supposed to provoke life and happiness.
The winner of the poem would win a prize and have their work published in the next Thursday's "Columbia Flyer" (the weekly newspaper for the town).
I remember cranking out my poem in about 5 minutes and presenting myself immediately in the front of the room at her desk. She looked up after reading it, and told me that the poem was my "homework", and that I had clearly not given it enough thought to have completed it in 5 minutes.
I was very disappointed because I liked my poem, and did not understand why she would not accept it.
Reluctantly, I worked on the poem at home that evening, reciting multiple versions of it, and even a complete re-write. It was not sticking. So, the next morning, I turned in my original poem (except I added colored illustrations so that Mrs. Allen would not think I just ignored her suggestion).
I truly felt that my premature submission had eliminated me, but I didn't care (all this in the second grade!)
That Friday, Mrs. Allen announced the Third, Second and First Place winners. After the first two were announced, I remember being crushed at loosing, and then she announced my name as the winner.
It was such a surprise, but I realize how much it meant to me because I still remember it. Mrs. Allen immediately reminded me that she never said she didn't like my poem or that it was not good. She simply said to spend more than 5 minutes on the task. I do not remember the prize, because to me the prize was that it was published in our town newspaper.
To this day, I love to write. Here it is, my very first "work" (laugh).
Spring has arrived!
Spring Spring what a wonderful thing
Leaves on the trees and beautiful scenes
Ride a bike
Fly a kite
Flowers have bloomed and the grass is green
Firecamps and picnics are so much fun
Spring has just begun
Baseball, Soccer, and tennis are great
So is fishing in the lake
Riding horses, camping out
Makes me want to jump and shout
I LIKE SPRING, WHAT ABOUT YOU?