Sunday, April 7, 2019

Blessings and Curses

Last Friday, I put out the poetry tools I've been using for this year's NPM challenge and let my students test drive them.

Magnetic Poetry

Paint Chip Poetry

What a blessing I received! Leave it to 10- and 11-year-olds to remind me how to really PLAY with these "tools!"

They didn't have time to draft full poems...all except this guy, who asked for permission not to switch stations so he could finish a poem, which turned out to be a heart-wrenching tribute to his mother on the theme of "appreciate what you've got while you've got it."

Other blessings I received as I played alongside them were snippets of poetry they gave me permission to borrow. Yesterday's metaphor was created by our class' member of the school dodgeball team. The competition was last night (they wound up holding onto their championship for the third year in a row) and he was thinking more literally about curveballs than I was! I have a line of magnetic poetry to work from for tomorrow's poem, and today's poem started at the paint chip table. A quiet sweetie showed her spunky side by pairing these:

That got me going on curses. I made a few of my own while we played, and then this morning, I took a page from my students' PLAYbook and dumped out all the paint chip cards on the kitchen table to find more.

I jotted them in my notebook, then went to my Merriam-Webster app and jotted down all the synonyms for CURSE.

Malediction Incantation

I curse you
with cheese puffs in your eyes!

May there be a muddy puddle pox
on your blue suede shoes!

I bestow a hex of sticky nectar
in your genie lamp!

A plague on your bright ideas --
may they slip away like quicksilver!

May your bull's-eye be blighted by

and your starship be scourged by

Your happy ending? May it be jinxed
by an unforeseen

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019


  1. forever
    may you wear
    these words and art
    I deign to draw ...
    a clapperclaw upon
    the curse of
    you all

    -- Kevin (written in play, of course)

    1. And taken in that spirit! Thanks for a new word: clapperclaw!

  2. This post made me laugh out loud and it made me scared to try to write today...curses! I think that someone should write a memoir or love song titled CHEESE PUFFS IN YOUR EYES. Please be my teacher? xxxx

  3. They asked me how I knew/what you said was true/oh, I of course replied/cheese puffs in your eyes! Love this! -- Christie @

  4. This is a gloriously fun curse poem. I think my kiddos would love doing these!

  5. May I take these and counter with blessings? : ))))