A Work of Artifice and a Poet-Tree, Day 2 of NPM

A Work of Artifice by Marge Piercy

The bonsai tree
in the attractive pot
could have grown eighty feet tall
on the side of a mountain
till split by lightning.
But a gardener
carefully pruned it.
It is nine inches high.
Every day as he
whittles back the branches
the gardener croons,
It is your nature
to be small and cozy,
domestic and weak;
how lucky, little tree,
to have a pot to grow in.
With living creatures
one must begin very early
to dwarf their growth:
the bound feet,
the crippled brain,
the hair in curlers,
the hands you
love to touch.

This would work great with a discussion or unit on metaphor, women’s roles/women’s rights, possibility, obstacles (What keeps people from achieving __?), and even more.  A great little poem!


Here’s an April bulletin board idea to go with today’s poem:

poet tree

This is from a first-grade classroom, but it’s easily upgraded for use in our classrooms.  On the “leaves,” students could write their favorite poem/poet, they could write their favorite line of poetry studied in class, write original poems for the tree, or, as a class, you could keep track of all the poets studied this year!  Lots of possibilities. 🙂