Into the Bound Blue Yonder

If I tell you that, after today, I will not write about Wordle again, I might be lying. Granted, I don’t know that I’m lying…yet.

In that spirit, I’m jumping to lines from William Wordworth’s sonnet, that affirms what I’ve found to be true for many of my students “with their pensive citadels…who have felt the weight of too much liberty” when it comes to poetry writing.

Nuns fret not at their Convent’s narrow room;
And Hermits are contented with their Cells;
And Students with their pensive Citadels;

Ourselves, no prison is: and hence for me,
In sundry moods, ’twas pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet’s scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
Should find brief solace there, as I have found.

Now some soar, unfettered, into the wanton freedom of an invitation, but for others, the confines are what make them shine:”…’twas pastime to be bound/Within the Sonnet’s scanty plot of ground.”

Wordle is a bounded experience; its appearance affirms it. As I’ve explained before, I have become addicted and even use the five-letter dictate as a means of finding sleep when it escapes me.

As I was substitute teaching the other day, wandering up and down the rows (yes, still rows) as eighth graders completed an assignment on their devices, I discovered three of my charges working on Wordle.

I ambled to the front of the room and asked, “How many of you play Wordle?” Hands popped up everywhere. The few who didn’t listened as classmates explained their fascination.

Now, I do what is asked of me as a sub, but this was an advanced Language Arts bunch. Their assignment would get done, so I posed that we create Wordle poems, an experiment with constrained freedom.

  • only five-letter words
  • play with punctuation
  • no more than five words per line
  • Title may break the five-letter word rule
  • says something 😉

We discussed and brainstormed, putting up five-letter words, dividing them into groups, nouns, verbs, adjectives… Then they went to work. And considering how little enthusiasm they often display, the level of engagement was a win!

Today

grief,

world bound round.

Dream , reach

alive!

It may not be Ada Limon ,”…the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf/unfurling like a fist to an open palm,” but “I’ll take it all.” (from “Instructions on Not Giving Up”)

4 thoughts on “Into the Bound Blue Yonder”

  1. Hey, if I can keep writing about quilts you can continue writing about wordle. I am addicted s well. This was a great activity to engage the students and encourage their creativity.

  2. What a brilliant lesson! You connected to the students and in turn inspired them. You tapped into current zeitgeist and extended their thinking.
    And best of all, you created a new form of poetry!
    Please consider coming up with a name for your new form of poetry.

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