Friday, February 19, 2021

Yes, yes, yes. No, no, no.

While doing some research for one of my classes, I came across an enchanting interview with Robert Frost (which you can view here). I had my kids watch it today, listening for how Robert Frost defines poetry. We were very amused by the fact that Robert Frost (a) believed in using pens and eschewed the use of pencils and (b) did not believe one could write (or teach) poetry outside. In fact, when asked whether he did so, Robert Frost emphatically answered, "No, no, no, no, no, no," Then he said something about bugs getting on his paper. 

So we talked about Robert Frost's offered definition(s) of poetry, and then turned to Mary Oliver. 

Both poets write about nature extensively, but I don't think they'd agree on much else. For example, Mary Oliver would hide pencils in trees precisely so she could write when inspiration struck her out in nature. Mary Oliver's poems tend not to rhyme, while Robert Frost's tend to. Mary Oliver "calls free verse 'the music of conversation' and "time spent with a friend," while Robert Frost said free verse was like "playing tennis without a net." 

All in all, we found Robert Frost endearing...but a little erudite. 

But we learned that poetry isn't the same thing to everyone. Even two poets who are considered great can have vastly different ideas of what poetry is and how it should be written. 

We read several poems about nature and then the kids attempted their own poem about nature, which perhaps I will share later. Benjamin's poem was...interesting.
We spent the afternoon watching the Perseverance land on Mars and the kids appreciated all the yes! yes! yesses! that were getting picked up on various microphones. It was a rather exciting moment for everyone involved, I'm sure.

My favourite part was when one of the astronomers/astronauts/scientists was fielding questions from children and one of them asked how exactly the samples from the rover were going to be returned to earth. She explained to viewers that she didn't quite know, but that it would be their job to figure that out when they're in her seat.

Benjamin asked what that meant, so I told him it meant that while they didn't have the technology or equipment to make a return trip today, she hold out hope that the children watching this event will dream up solutions and invent new technologies that will allow us to retrieve the equipment in coming years. I might have made my answer sound a little too personal, however, because he turned to me and said, "Okay. Here's what we gotta do..." and started detailing his plans for getting Perseverance back on Earth. 

I eventually had to shush him (because we were trying to watch the rest of the program), but I felt bad because that boy was dreaming big



    1. That was my real comment. Singing in the Rain.

    2. I visited the link so I got it. :) And I thought of it when I wrote the title, too. Hahaha!

    3. I just didn't want you to think I was a troll, putting a random youtube link.