It is 12:18 a.m. It seems this is the time I do my best or worst writing. I can never really tell which one, until the next day when the clarity of daylight helps me decide if what I wrote was garbage or actually decent. The difference tonight is that I am not writing from a journal in my bedroom but rather publishing for all of my students and the rest of the world. Thank goodness there is an edit button, but here is a promise, I am not going to use it tonight, not this time because I want you to see what raw writing looks like. It's not always pretty and polished, especially after midnight, but it should always be expressive, which is something I saw from you guys in your writer's workshop this past Monday.
I had you guys assume the role of one of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird. I love that many of you decided to pick a very unconventional character, such as Calpurnia or Miss Maudie. Many of you picked Boo Radley. It was a fairly safe choice. I only gave you ten minutes to write your "I AM" poems, which is not much time I know. That was by design. I wanted you to see that in a short amount of time you can still produce something, but it can always get better, which is why I am going to give you time in class this upcoming Monday to do a rewrite.
I want you to stretch your writing, revise it, expand it, rearrange it. I hope you will let me do the same, as I have clearly butchered the blog this week. Nonetheless, because I asked you guys to write an "I Am" poem I will commit to do the same. It is now 12:26 p.m. I get the same 10 minutes you guys received and time on Monday for a rewrite, fair?
My person is Harper Lee. Here goes.
I am an icon or so they say
I wish I had never written this dreaded novel
I wanted to be a writer
I guess I have only myself to blame
I never imagined how it would all turn out
I want all of the questions, stares, and autographs to stop
I am Amassa (A.C.) Lee's Daughter, Alice Lee's sister, friend of Truman Capote.
I put down my pen.
I silence the questions.
I feed the ducks each day. They do not want autographs
I know my time is coming
I understand this nursing home is my Radley House
I want it to be this way
I watch my final Alabama Football game
I say goodbye at last
I am Nelle Harper Lee
It is now 12:37 p.m. I went one minute over the time limit, but I think you would all agree I should get an extra minute since the brain does not function well after midnight.
Full disclaimer: I know my poem needs work, and I am okay with that.
That is why we edit.
Time for Bed,