On Year 4: September’s Poems


Of course, the school year actually started in August–doesn’t it always?  So there’s a bonus poem.  I faced the usual resistance among some of the kids who have never been in my class before:  do we have to listen to every poem?  Yes, I told them–every blasted one.  That pretty much answers that question, came the reply. Yes.  You have to listen.  Hwæt, to quote the Beowulf Poet.  Get used to it.  Learn to like it.  Learn to love it.  At the very least, resistant young people, learn to expect it.  Because I’m going to feed you poetry every day.  It’s good for you.  As sunlight is.  As rain is.  As oxygen is.

August 30, Friday:  “What We Are Here For” by Michael Macklin (from the dedicated summer issue of The Café Review)

September 2, Monday:  Labor Day!

September 3, Tuesday: “Blackberry Picking” by Seamus Heaney (because his death is incredibly sad…so glad I got to see him at AWP last March!)

September 4, Wednesday: “Fireside” by Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney

September 5, Thursday: “Aimless Love” by Billy Collins

September 6, Friday: “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost (because I’ve been getting Frost requests from students this week; and one boy recognized this poem from watching The Outsiders!)

September 9, Monday: “The School Bus” by Christian Barter (no matter how many times I read this, I love it)

September 10, Tuesday: “Anima Mundi” by Thomas D. Absher (from the Michael Macklin edition of The Café Review)

September 11, Wednesday: “A Monday in May” by Ted Kooser (even though it’s not Monday, and even though it’s not May…but it did rain overnight.)

September 12, Thursday: “A Thunderstorm” by Emily Dickinson (because they started here at 7:30 a.m.)

September 13, Friday:  “Ode to Barbecue” by Barbara Hamby (because I wanted to rollick the way into the weekend!)

September 16, Monday:  “Europa” by Dawn Potter

September 17, Tuesday:  “English Flavors” by Laure-Anne Bosselaar (because it’s about time for this one!)

Jane Kenyon

September 18, Wednesday: “August Rain, After Haying” by Jane Kenyon

September 19, Thursday: “Plans” by Stuart Dischell

September 20, Friday: “Name of Horses” by Donald Hall (because it’s his birthday…and the poem made two girls in 7th period cry.)

September 23, Monday: “How It Is With Us, and How It Is With Them ” by Mary Oliver

September 24, Tuesday: “Green Canoe” by Jeffery Harrison

September 25, Wednesday: “Thorntrees” by Hayden Carruth

September 26, Thursday: “After Apple-Picking” by Robert Frost

Donald Hall

September 27, Friday: “A Drop Fell on the Apple Tree” by Emily Dickinson

September 30, Monday:  “For the Night” by Jane Kenyon

And thus begins the year.  As always, if anyone has any suggestions, please send them my way.  I have an outstanding request for hunting poems, by the way–so if anyone knows any of quality, I’d especially like them for some of my boys.  Thanks for reading.

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1 Comment

  1. “Why Log Truck Drivers Rise Earlier Than Students of Zen” by Gary Snyder. A fine, fine central Maine boy poem.

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