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Monday, March 27, 2017

Day Twenty-Seven of Thirty-One: Not My House

Today I was teaching a poetry lesson on personification. I talked about taking an existing poem and just changing the perspective.
Did you write a poem about the sunrise? How do the trees tell the poem? How about the sun?

I also explained that personification is a great way to explore sensory details. Thinking about the five senses +1 (emotional feeling) and giving objects or non-human things senses can help when trying to add personification to a poem.

Later I was thinking about what I might personify in a poem. I thought about my poor empty house. As I started to write about it, I realized I wasn't personifying it quite like I expected but instead writing it a letter of sorts.

I sometimes wonder
if you miss us.
I feel bad
you were left behind.


We are okay.
Don't worry
but we miss you.
We'll visit again soon.

So, I decided to try again and write something truly from the house's perspective. I realized that I couldn't do it. It's a little too hard to think about the house as a person. Then I thought about how they are going to tear it down and I thought the house might wonder if that was going to happen. It might ask. I didn't want to tell the house. In a weird way, putting that in a poem would be like admitting the house was dead and I'm not quite ready to do that. I'm not ready to tell the house.

This place, it is not my house. It is a home. It is comfortable. My house is not jealous. It is not human. But I do sometimes feel its feelings. Its sadness. I feel it for the house. I am my house.

This is not my house. 


  1. I love this - your poem, your reflection and your discovery about your feelings for your house. It all unraveled beautifully on the page - inviting us on your journey of realization. This line, "I realized that I couldn't do it. It's a little too hard to think about the house as a person." really says it all. You are grieving a stage of your life, a part of you life, it will take time. Thank you for sharing with us.

  2. I read my students the book Fireflies today. I then had a typed up version of just the words. I had my students read it to themselves and pick out what stood out to them. One student in particular had only one thing. "The night grew darker." She said the night can't grow but I love how the author used personification. Your post made me think of her.

  3. Isn't that just the way it goes? You sit down to write one thing and something else dances out of your pen. What you captured here is awesome. There are a lot of mixed up feelings in the poem, your explanation, and your unwillingness to write it differently. It came out great, even if it wasn't what you were expecting. Thanks for sharing it!

  4. I think you had an important lesson about how hard something can be for our kids when we ask them to do it. Sometimes we cannot take on the perspective of that thing and make it come alive!

    Soon enough, my friend, you will be back in your house.

    Beautiful writing, as always, Betsy.

  5. "I realized that I couldn't do it. It's a little too hard to think about the house as a person." I think I would feel the same way.