Monday, July 02, 2007

PTSW: Bag of Tools

I remember this poem from my childhood. It seems to me that my father, a Methodist minister, may have used it, maybe more than once, in sermons. My sister Joan at Daddy's Roses posted this poem with some others of her favorites a few weeks ago. In searching for the poet's name I came across a speech by Georgia's Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham from neighboring Bartow County, Georgia. Justice Benham is the first black ever to serve on the state's highest court. I found it interesting to get his perspective on Booker T. Washington.
Bag of Tools

Isn't it strange how princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people, like you and me,
are builders for eternity?

Each is given a list of rules;
a shapeless mass; a bag of tools.
And each must fashion, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.
-by R. Lee Sharpe


The series of posts, A Poem to Start the Week, is my little anthology of poetry, many of which I have used with my students in elementary schools during 27 years of teaching.

Previous Poems to Start the Week:
Carpe DiemPoems About PoetryMan's Best Friend
Spelling is Tough Stough!
Blue MarbleTacks, Splinters, Apples and Stars
Oh, Captain, My Captain!MetaphorIntroducion to Poetry
Loveliest of TreesFlax-Golden TalesThe Dinosaurs Are Not All Dead
Owl PelletsMummy Slept LateJust My Size
The Kindest Things I KnowMiles to GoLove that Brother
Oh, Frabjous Day!

Other Posts about Children's Literature:

The Lion's Paw top kid's OOP book!
Aslan is Dead!
A Teacher's Life

You can read some of my own efforts at poetry here.
And then there's Alien Invasion.

A weblog dedicated to Poetry for Children.
Watch Sonja Cole's reviews of children's books at

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