Friday, May 21, 2021

"A Good Teacher" #PoemsforMaryLee #MarvelousMaryLee


Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Christie at Wondering and Wandering for Roundup. 

It's a very special Poetry Friday today because we are celebrating  #MarvelousMaryLee with #PoemsforMaryLee—because Mary Lee is retiring after 37 years as a classroom teacher!

How I wish I'd had a teacher like Mary Lee! I love thinking about the impact Mary Lee has had on so many lives... including mine. I've been learning from Mary Lee ever since I joined the Poetry Friday community. Nearly 10 years ago I wrote a post/poem "Ode to Mary Lee." I admire Mary Lee's willingness to be vulnerable and the bold way she embraces teaching/human challenges like talking about race. I'm often inspired by her poems and thoughts, and always always grateful for the ways she brings all of us together by organizing the Roundup schedule time and time again.

In honor of Mary Lee's service to so many, here is the "Service" poem from DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD.

... and here is a new poem I wrote for Mary Lee... with a haiku syllable count, because I know Mary Lee loves haiku!... but I had to add a title:

 A Good Teacher

fills young minds with more
than mathematics—they learn
how to spell themselves

- Irene Latham

*THIS JUST IN! A bonus #MarvelousMaryLee #PoemsforMaryLee from dear Ann Marie Corgill!

A Poem For #MarvelousMaryLee 

From Ann Marie

Roses are red
But I’m not a poet
Mary Lee is quite awesome
Can I adequately show it?

I’ll just write from my heart
Because words come from there
She’s a gift to our profession
A friend, true and rare.

Classrooms full of kids, year after year
Have learned, grown, and thrived
Under her care.

Far across the miles, or across the dinner table,
Mary Lee’s taught us all
Always willing and able.

Now it’s time to take a break
Smell the roses, catch the fish
Read, write, rest, and travel
Do exactly as you wish!

Happy retirement, Mary Lee!
All good wishes I do send
Enjoy your new beginning
My poem is over now….The End.


... and here is my latest ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS poem! Thanks so much for reading. xo

Fishing in Spring (Life is but a Dream)

row row row your boat

fish ignore
flashy lure


row row row your boat


row row row your boat

let your heart

                catch       hope

- Irene Latham


  1. "catch hope"...yes. What a wonderful way of seeing fishing--as a whole experience including the fish. It's a dreamy poem too. Lovely. I am really enjoying the stories of how poets met Mary Lee. I still feel like a Poetry Friday newbie...but I've been learning from PF bloggers since 2016 and happily so. Like you, I'm a fortunate student of Mary Lee from afar. Isn't her classroom grand?

  2. I feel like I continually 'learn to spell myself' from teacher/mentors like Mary Lee and you, Irene. Thank you both. :)

  3. Thanks for these wonderful poems. Esp. love "they learn how to spell themselves," and "let your heart bobble." :)

  4. I like "hope is gravy." We are always trying to figure out hope, aren't we? So cool that you wrote ML a poem almost a decade ago! (I just checked and I have been learning from Mary Lee since 2009. Maybe you and I met in 2011?)

  5. Irene, I love the good teacher haiku you wrote for Mary Lee. Especially..."they learn
    how to spell themselves" Wow!

  6. Here's to catching hope. Thanks for this.

  7. "how to spell themselves" - awesome, Irene. Your art speak poem connects to Mary Lee beautifully, too, but I imagine you know that. I have great memories fishing with an uncle, love what you've written there, like others, "catch hope". Happy weekend!

  8. Love all the "hope" here, lovely post for Mary Lee, thanks Irene!

  9. What a wonderful tribute to Mary Lee. I love your haiku about teaching! You've distilled teaching down to the essence - that it's more than the communication of information and skill. I will carry the thought of students learning how to spell themselves with me into my own teaching. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. I caught it! #hope

    Delightful net of poems, Irene. Including one that jumped into your pond. This is lovely; They learn how to spell themselves.✔️

  11. Love your haiku for Mary Lee (and for all teachers.) :)
    Love your latest ArtSpeak too — I think "fish ignore/flashy lure" is going to be bobbling around in my mind all day now.

  12. "how to spell themselves" Love that line! Thanks for sharing Ann Marie's clever little ditty, too. So much love in all of these posts. I appreciate your initiative, Irene, to make this all happen. My experience with fishing is very limited and I never ever caught one, so I adore your poem "fish ignore'.

  13. I love the kids learning to spell themselves. Perfect.

  14. This post is like a Mary Lee 4-course dinner! I don't know if "Fishing in Spring" was inspired by ML, but the fishing reference makes it so in my mind.) I leave here full and satisfied. :)

  15. Irene, you nailed it with that last line, and the fishing poem is all kinds of #truth! Thank you, Ann Marie for your poem (I guess you can't say "I'm not a poet" anymore, eh? :-)

    Eternal thanks to everything you did to make this amazing (blush-worthy) celebration happen. You're the best.

  16. A delightful stop of celebration. I always enjoy your poems, Irene - and the Ann Marie bonus!


Your thoughts?