Invite young people to watch and listen to Morningside Center's Daniel Coles' recitation of the poem Sometimes. Then read and reflect on it with young people, using the process below.
Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail.
Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes will step back from war,
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
Sometimes our best intentions do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.
Reflecting on a poem
Read the poem out loud or play the video above.
Next, share your screen so students can see the text of the poem.
If possible, you can read as a group by inviting students to read up to a line each. In a virtual classroom setting, you can put a "circle" order into the chat box and ask students to remember who comes before them. You may want to read it twice to get a good flow.
Give students a few minutes to study the poem by themselves, in silence. Invite them to pick a line that resonates with them in some way as they think about the past few weeks of their lives.
Once again, go around, this time asking students to read out the line that resonates with them, thus creating a personalized version of the poem.
For the next go round, ask students to read their line again, this time explaining why they picked that line.
Poem used with permission of author, who asked not to be credited.