Mrs. McGriff's Reading Blog

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A poem for Teacher’s Write


Over the weekend, the wonderful Kate Messner extended a gentle invitation to the teachers who participated in Teachers Write over the summer.  School has started, time is filled with lesson to plan and papers to grade and parents to call, but Kate invites us to take time to write as well.  I needed the nudge to get back to writing, so I grabbed a pen and paper this afternoon to write.

Instead of following her invitation, I went totally off-topic to a poem I started writing alongside my students a few weeks ago. We read together Charles Bukowski’s poem about poems,  ”Defining the Magic.”  Inspired, I wrote the following poem to define the magic of a good book.

A good book is a kindred spirit 
a good book is a secret garden

where miracles occur 

A good book is a light

   on a dark and stormy night
a good book is a pot of honey
in the Hundred Acre Wood
a good book is a subtle knife
that cuts between worlds
a good book is a wardrobe
that leads to a lightpost in a snowy woods
a good book is a tesseract
through time and space
a good book is a wagon trail
across the prairie
a good book is an arrow
shot through a pig’s snout
a good book is money
to pass through a phantom tollbooth
a good book is a departure
from Platform 9 ¾
a good book is a Golden Ticket….
if you dare to open it.

How would you define the magic of a good book?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!


  1. I love that poem. the way it gust rolls off your tongue makes it speacial

  2. Mrs. McGriff,

    Thanks for sharing Bukowski’s inspiring poem about the power of a poem.

    And thanks for your wonderful poem that inspires one to read a delicious children’s book.

    All best,
    Donna Gephart

  3. Mrs. McGriff,

    I like it! If you have to go off topic, it might as well be something that you can use as a teacher sample.

    I look forward to seeing what your classes have going on this year.

    Mrs. Klein

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