Happy Retirement to Mary Lee Hahn! #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday! And, more importantly, happy retirement to Mary Lee Hahn, longtime unofficial leader of our Poetry Friday community. (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

I was so tickled to get Irene Latham’s note about honoring Mary Lee today. Here’s how I feel about you, Mary Lee:

  • If I were still a student, I would want Mary Lee as my teacher.
  • If I were still a teacher, I would want Mary Lee as my teammate.
  • If my kids were still school age, I would want Mary Lee as their teacher.

Mary Lee, thank you for all you have done in your many years as a classroom teacher. You have taught kids important things like reading and writing. But you’ve also taught them crucial things, like compassion and kindness. Thank you for everything you’ve done for so many kids! I’m sad for the hole your absence at school will leave, but I’m thrilled that you will have more time to work on your own fabulous poems!

Here are the slides I made for her birthday book a few months ago.

Mary Lee, Janet Wong, and I collaborated on a poem for the Children’s Literature Assembly.



I am so missing Mary Lee, NCTE, and all you Poetry Friday friends right now!

Well, I am a bit teary-eyed after creating this post.  For lots of wonderful poetry (and some more posts in honor of Mary Lee), skip on over to visit another fabulous teacher, Christie Wyman, who has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week!


17 Responses

  1. Laura,
    Thank you for this sweet tribute to Mary Lee. It is lovely!

    My favorite part of the poem you wrote collaboratively is the first stanza…
    “We began as flashlight-
    readers, under cover
    with beloved books”

    Your move is coming soon. I hope you are able to enjoy the process and get it all done before collapsing! (That little lamb does look like sweet research!)

  2. Oh, goodness…yes a bit teary eyed and it’s not even my post. The thing about a great teacher retiring is that I think about their absence from a physical space. But, really they are found everywhere in people that have learned to carry her lessons forward. We are fortunate to be included in that group. Great post, Laura. Now for a tissue.

  3. I’m learning so much about Mary Lee today! Thank you for this stunning post, all the photos and poems. Loved it all.

  4. Every part is really lovely, Laura. I love seeing the pictures, one the only time I ever made it to NCTE, a wonderful memory to me to meet so many PF poets, including Mary Lee. And I love those haiku, just right!

  5. Oh my, Laura. I hadn’t realised that NCTE was a gathering point for so many poetry pals over and over again. That’s beautiful.

  6. This is lovely — the poems that remind you of her make me smile. You both have a line on that nature poetry that I don’t, and I love to read what you two come up with. From a poem-collaborator and a friend, this is a lovely tribute.

  7. All those NCTE pictures!! WOW! Thanks for a blast from the past! I am still in love with our collaborative poem. And how perfect that I am spending this weekend in nature — fishing, walking the trails, birding. (That’s why I’m slow to join my own party!) THANK YOU!

    1. I hope you didn’t feel an obligation to read and reply immediately to everything interrupt your retreat weekend too much, Mary Lee! Happy to celebrate you and all your gifts!

  8. I got a bit teary-eyed reading your post, too, Laura. Lovely. 🙂

  9. This is such a special post, Laura. I feel the love. Thank you for sharing your scrapbook pages. 🙂

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