“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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Some Poetic Justice...




A Minor Bird
by Robert Frost - American Poet


I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;

Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.

The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.

And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.



Have you ever had to interpret the meaning of a line or a short story or perhaps a poem in class or maybe participating in a book club?  I remember one time in Junior High School, the teacher had us read a story then write a paper of what it meant.  And I received a D- on my paper 'cause what I deciphered from the author's words was "WRONG".  How I wanted back then to argue my point.  But I was one who was raised to respect my elders and those in control.  How I wish I would have done so tho, only because when you read anything, it's what and HOW you understand in your own thoughts.  I wasn't wrong in other words, I was expounding MY interpreted meanings. Tho I don't hold a grudge any longer as I have outgrown my anger and disappointment in her action, I will never forget that day.  Just like with my history teacher, four years later in high school,  being adamant that history books are 'gospel'....I was more outgoing by then and debated with the teacher stating my thoughts that anything in history books could be considered 'fiction' because of the author's 'one man opinion'...and history has proved me correct in so many ways being that of a certain subject having different writers writing about the historical episode with different 'known' facts [from word of mouth or what the history is and how it was witnessed by others].

Oftentimes I've mentioned in my blog that my favorite poet is Robert Frost, and each year when the seasons change from the scorching hot summer days into the cool nights and crisp autumn mornings...the woods changing and leaves rustling and falling on the pathways, his poetic style comes to mind. Now that I've picked up the hobby of photographing birds around the C C Birding Trails around the 75 mile radius of my home town...the title of this poem could possibly have a double meaning, which is a homograph - unlike homonym i.e., tool/tule  or words with the same spelling but different pronunciations and meanings, called heteronyms - i.e., The bandage was wound around the wound. Did I confuse you? I personally think this poem, A Minor Bird, more symbolizes that no matter how small something in nature is, it will always be worth sensing, [minor, as in indistinct or unnecessary, possibly in Mr. Frost's thoughts...'man' himself]. Yet perhaps it could be, minor, to the key the bird was singing in. Or both!!

I ask of you: Which would you think best describes "minor" in this poetic thought? Or do you have a whole 'nother concept?


It's now my turn for Poetic Justice©:

Because a mind works in so many gears
A teacher could and should  willingly learn
from students and their peers....
not all of what you say and do
is forevermore veracity, the whole fact; creed...
What some consider falsehoods, some consider true.
Admiration and respect of others,
instead of stagnation and prideful greed,
results in the respect you seek thru the years...
something you strive for, strive to earn!!

Hootin' Anni
©2013

...and this is not targeted to teachers in general. I have a lot of teachers in my family, aunts, sister, son, cousins galore and many teachers I have come to respect in so many ways, through acquaintances and bloggers that have a teaching career. School memories sometimes just pop in my head and I feel the urge to 'talk'.



30 comments :

  1. I heartily agree that each person's opinion should be valued, especially when it comes to subjective interpretations. I love your poem! My friend, you are multi, multi talented. I did not know you are also a poet in addition to your other giftings~

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    Replies
    1. ...thanks Shelly! Ya, I like to scribble down my thoughts from time to time. :o)

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  2. Your teacher was wrong. You knew it and she didn't. Maybe she learned later in her career, Anni, how to interpret these differences. BTW, you were right about the flower I labeled to be a dahlia, and I changed it on my blog. I think I have always confused dahlias and zinnias. :-)

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    Replies
    1. ...My dad had a 'gazillion-million' zinnas, I can see 'em in my dreams!! LOL

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  3. Oh Anni yet another thing we have in common Robert Frost.
    I love love love The Road Not Traveled. In fact, there is hardly a day in my life that poem doesn't cross my mind. I remind myself...when I make a wrong turn...there could be something wonderful down this road or if nothing else I learn a new way to somewhere.
    Hugs C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...yep, there is so much to Robert Frost's poetry!!

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  4. Really enjoyed your poem.

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  5. I think the minor applies to both - a nice twist! I like Frost too.
    I think it's pretty awful that you got a D on that paper. I don't think your interpretation could be wrong.
    I really like your poem and the thought behind it.

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    Replies
    1. ...thanks Mari. It's funny how things and memories jump to the surface after decades have passed. It's all water under the bridge now.

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  6. There was a boy in my grade who was in my class many times over the years who was extremely intelligent. He argued with the teachers so many, many times. One time, in the 6th grade, the teacher got so frustrated, she walked out of class and slammed the door...and the glass in the door shattered. We were all very quiet for the rest of the day.

    In 9th grade, the same boy argued about Algebra with our teacher. I was afraid he was going to give her a heart attack. He had the right answers, but had not come to the correct answer the correct way, according to our teacher. He argued there were many ways you could get the same answer. He showed her. I thought she was going to have an aneurism right there and then. She was trying to teach us a method, and he was going to confuse all the rest of us who were not quite to the Einstein level that he was. I wonder what ever happened to that boy. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...brainiacs. And I add, more power to 'em.

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  7. Some teachers go strictly by the rules, but then here is no room for interpretation, inventiveness, or any NEW thoughts!!!

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    1. ...personally, I think it's more 'old school' than today's times. Maybe not. Who knows. Back then, the teacher's word was 'law'.

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  8. Replies
    1. ...glad to read this Linda.

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  9. Great ... !!!!

    Greetings

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  10. I agree teachers should respect their students opinions. When i was a teacher in Malawi i learned a lot from what my students said, sometimes they shed new light on topics, sometimes they showed up that my English might have been confusing for them (all of them had English as their second or even third language and British English is different from Malawian English).

    As to the poem, i think Frost is saying we shouldn't overlook any part of nature, also I think there's a sense in there that he's saying we shouldn't harm nature, we should allow each part of nature's song to thrive

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    1. I really value your input!

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  11. When you mentioned history could be considered fiction it reminded me of a conversation I had with my husband last night. It seems that a conversation I had with someone was repeated to another person which in turn was repeated back to my husband. In the telling of the conversation history was changed greatly :)

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    1. ...yep, yep, yep. "History" could and can be so misconstrued it becomes a work of fiction.

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  12. Oh, yes, I have had similar experiences in school with "opinion." My opinion didn't match the teacher's, so I was "wrong," too. Yep, sure do remember the anger and disappointment when it happened. Why do they ask for an opinion/view, when they don't really want it?

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    Replies
    1. ...that makes two of us then!! And we're of the same generation so it must be 'old school. rofl

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  13. You have just confirmed my thoughts exactly. I will send your 'teacher' story to a dear friend and teacher who will thoroughly understand. I, too was taught to respect my elders, but was out of hand several times; when in first grade a teacher dropped her chalk on the floor and then asked me to pick it up for her. I told her to pick it up herself because I didn't drop it. Well I spent some time with my head down on the desk as punishment for such rudeness. She was rude - not me! Interpretation is important.
    (Could it mean a MYNAH bird??) Sometimes they are talking birds. Robert Frost being the bird.

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    1. yes indeed...that could be a possible notation...Mynah.

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  14. Update! I did send this blog to my teacher friend (who lives in Hawaii and is a teacher of elementary children) and her answer was so appropriate! Here ya go:

    "This is very good! I found it interesting from an English major's perspective
    and, of course, from a teacher's perspective.

    The very first social studies/history lesson I would teach my fifth graders
    involved calling two students to the front of the class to face each other.
    Between them I would place construction paper. On one side, the paper was red.
    On the other side, the paper was black. I would then ask each student to tell
    me what color they saw. Of course their answers were different. Then I would
    ask the class which one of them was correct. This led to a wonderful discussion
    about perspective. It also led to a great discussion about seeing someone
    else's point of view. I would ask the "red" student, "How could you convince
    the other student that from your perspective, you see red?" And he/she would
    always reply, "I could ask him to look at my side and see what I see." Ahhhh,
    yes!!! "

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  15. REAL teachers are the ones who encourage creativity and free thinking... Opinions and thoughts are within all of us ---and if an authority figure squelches those thoughts, it takes away the creative and excitement... SO many teachers teach one thing/one way ---and the students have to AGREE... THAT is terrible...

    I don't think anything in life is 'minor' --or less important, no matter how big or small... Everything has merit (WELL--except mosquitos; I still haven't learned to love them... ha ha)

    Hugs,
    Betsy
    P.S. I loved your thought about the bird singing in a minor key.. Priceless.

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    1. Yes, Betsy, I so agree. Back then, tho, being raised to respect the elder's thoughts/actions, it was most difficult for me to just walk away. But I did.

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