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Poetry Break #1: Classic Poem (by a dead poet)


About Me | Favorite Links | Contact Me | Poetry Breaks for Module #1: The Poetry Environment | Poetry Break #1: Classic Poem (by a dead poet) | Poetry Break #2: Picture book with poetry breaks | Poetry Break #3: Song with poem line breaks | Poetry Break #4: A Mother Goose Poem | Poetry Break #5: A Folk Poem | Poetry Breaks for Module #2: Major Poets | Jack Prelutsky | Shel Silverstein | Lee Bennett Hopkins | Douglas Florian | Judith Viorst | Poetry Breaks for Module #3: Poetry Performance | What is Poetry Performance? | Poetry Break #6: Poem with a refrain | Poetry Break #7: Poem accompanied by movement | Poetry Break #8: Poem for two groups | Poetry Break #9: Poem ideal for solo/linearound | Poetry Break #10: Poem to sing | Poetry Breaks for Module #4: Poetry Across the Curriculum | Poetry Break #11: Poem Relevant to Social Studies | Poetry Break #12: Poem Relevant to Mathematics | Poetry Break #13: Poem Relevant to Science | Poetry Break #14: Poem to Use With a Novel or Picture Book | Poetry Break #15: Poem Matched With a Nonfiction Book | Poetry Breaks for Module #5: Multicultural Poetry | Poetry Break #16: African American Poetry | Poetry Break #17: Hispanic American Poetry | Poetry Break #18: Native American Poetry | Poetry Break #19: Asian American Poetry | Poetry Break #20: International Poetry | Poet Study: Arnold Adoff | Arnold Adoff Complete Bibliography | Arnold Adoff Seasons Poem | Arnold Adoff Culture Poem | Arnold Adoff City Poem | Arnold Adoff Chocolate Poem | Arnold Adoff Food Poem | Arnold Adoff Senses Poem | Arnold Adoff Sports Poem | Poetry Breaks for Module #6: Different Forms of Poetry | Poetry Break #21: A Shape Poem | Poetry Break #22: A Free Verse Poem | Poetry Break #23: Poem Written and Published by a Child | Poetry Break #24: A Stump the Teacher Poem | Poetry Break #25: An Original Poem by Mrs. Mann | Complete Website Bibliography

Poetry Break #1: "Classic Poem" (by a dead poet)

Mrs. Mann's Poetry Corner


by Henry David Thoreau

I love to see the man, a long-lived child,
As yet uninjured by all worldly taint
As the fresh infant whose whole life is play.
'Tis a serene spectacle for a serene day;
But better still I love to contemplate
The mature sould of lesser innocence,
Who hath traveled for on life's dusty road
Far from the starting point of infancy
And proudly bears his small degen'racy
Blazan'd on his memorial standard high
Who from the sad experience of his fate
Since his bark struck on that unlucky rock
Has proudly steered his life with his own hands.
Though his face harbors less of innocence
Yet there do chiefly lurk within its depths
Furrowed by care, but yet all over spread
With the ripe bloom of a self-wrought content
Noble resolves which do reprove the gods
And it doth more assert man'seminence
Above the happy level of the brute
Andmore doth advertise me of the heights
To which no natural path doth ever lead
No natural light can ever light our steps,
--But the far-piercing ray that shines
From the recesses of a brave man's eye. by Katharena Eiermann
(found 9-20-01 online at

Introduction: This poem may be a little difficult for some students to understand. If I were going to share this poem with a class I would make sure to go over the meaning of words they may not know: taint, spectacle, serene, contemplate... The concepts and ideas contained in this poem may be too mature for younger students. Use caution when reading or assigning to students.

Extension: This would be a good introduction for a study on Henry David Thoreau. You could find biographies and other works to incorporate into a unit on Henry David Thoreau.