Friday, December 18, 2009

Poetry Friday

I don't just do "Poetry Friday" here on my blog. I also read a poem to my 6th graders every Friday in English class. Since today was the last day of school before Christmas break, I wanted to read a Christmas poem. Instead of reading a poem though, I played them a song. It's on Garth Brooks' Sevens album and manages to make me cry every single time I hear it. It's rife with emotion and human drama.

I had them write the story of this song in their journals and then we discussed it together as a class. I'm happy that most of them got the meaning and found it as moving as I did.

Belleau Wood

Oh, the snowflakes fell in silence
Over Belleau Wood that night
For a Christmas truce had been declared
By both sides of the fight
As we lay there in our trenches
The silence broke in two
By a German soldier singing
A song that we all knew

Though I did not know the language
The song was “Silent Night”
Then I heard my buddy whisper,
“All is calm and all is bright”
Then the fear and doubt surrounded me
‘Cause I’d die if I was wrong
But I stood up in my trench
And I began to sing along

Then across the frozen battlefield
Another’s voice joined in
Until one by one each man became
A singer of the hymn

Then I thought that I was dreaming
For right there in my sight
Stood the German soldier
‘Neath the falling flakes of white
And he raised his hand and smiled at me
As if he seemed to say
Here’s hoping we both live
To see us find a better way

Then the devil’s clock struck midnight
And the skies lit up again
And the battlefield where heaven stood
Was blown to hell again

But for just one fleeting moment
The answer seemed so clear
Heaven’s not beyond the clouds
It’s just beyond the fear

No, heaven’s not beyond the clouds
It’s for us to find it here

- Garth Brooks

If you've never actually heard the song before, this video shows a moving reenactment: (the song starts at 2:07)

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