On November’s Poems

Here we are again, at the end of another month of experiments in poetry.  The students in my classes are all acclimatized now:  we cannot start class without a poem first.  So that’s one mindset down.  A boy in fifth period spent days and days frowning at the poems I read, until one day he burst out with, “But that can’t be real poetry.  I understand it.  I probably could even write it.”  He hasn’t written any yet to show me…but his comment was further proof of another myth destroyed:  yes, it is real poetry.  Yes, you can understand it.  We are making progress.  It is slow.  But it is sure.

November, however, is a short month:  in effect, we only have 18 school days.  Only 18 opportunities for sharing poems with my classes.  It’s also the month of the birthdays of two of my favorite poets and teachers–Laure-anne Bosselaar (I told my students about her once, in coldest January, sharing a floor-length mink coat with me), and Ted Deppe, who got to spend this birthday in Montepulciano, as I understand it.  I fully expect Montepulciano poems in his next book, primarily because it will give me more opportunities to say Montepulciano.

I’m still  looking for suggestions for other poems to read.  For December, another relatively short month, I’m thinking about snow poems.  Anyone have any?

Meanwhile, here’s the month in poetry:

November 1, Monday:  “Monday” by Cindy Gregg

November 2, Tuesday:  “On the Natural History of Possessions” by Ted Deppe, because it’s his birthday (Happy day, Ted!).

November 3, Wednesday:  “Sans” by David Adams.

Congratulations, Terrance!

November 4, Thursday: “Nostalgia” by Dawn Potter.

November 5, Friday  “After a Noisy Night” by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

November 8, Monday:  “Existentially Speaking” by Joe-Anne McLaughlin

November 9, Tuesday: “exactly right” by Charles Bukowski

November 10, Wednesday:  “Song for Adam” by Joe-Anne McLaughlin

November 12, Friday:  “The Naming of Cats” by T. S. Eliot (because 5th period overwhelmingly hates cats:  The English Teacher’s Petty Revenge.)

November 15, Monday: “No Loathsomeness in Love” by Robert Herrick

November 16, Tuesday:  “Main Street, Tilton, New Hampshire” by Jane Kenyon

November 17, Wednesday: “The Skillet Toss” by Dawn Potter

November 18, Thursday:  “Birthday” by Laure-Anne Bosselaar (because yesterday was her birthday)

November 19, Friday:  “A. Machine” by Terrance Hayes (because he won the National Book Award)

November 22, Monday:  “Ambition:  II.  Mosquito in the Mist” by Tim Seibles

Quantum Lyrics by A. Van Jordan

November 23, Tuesday: “Creed” by Meg Kearney

November 29, Monday: “The School Bus” by Christian Barter

November 30, Tuesday:  “Orientation, Wittenberg University, 1983” by A. Van Jordan

The Singers I Prefer, by Christian Barter


  1. Brenda Edmands

    Hey Anne, Check out Wes McNair’s “Icicle Nights” for a good winter poem–not snow, but still frozen precipitation!

    Loving your blog. Loving your teaching style.


  2. Jenny Doughty

    What about Thomas Hardy’s ‘Snow in the suburbs’? See http://www.teachit.co.uk/armoore/grammar/snow.htm

    Billy Collins’ ‘Snow Day’? http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/billy_collins/poems/11285.html

    I like this one:

    as the snow fell
    by R G Gregory

    the children played games
    getting from here
    to where the truth was
    without touching a flake

    needless to say
    the only ones who got there
    were liars

    but while the honest ones
    shrank back from
    the touch of snow
    the liars
    were where the truth was


  3. Anne My name is Cindy Gregg and you featued my poem entitled Monday in November of 2010. I’m assuming you found it when it was read on Writer’s Almanac. This poem and many others are availble in my book called Suddenly Autumn and can be purchased by coing to my new website, cind-gregg-poems.com.

    I’m wondering if you say the same striking similarites between you and me when you look at my photo.

    Thanks for sharing my poem.


    • You are more than welcome! I love finding cool poems to read to my classes, and I was glad to find yours.


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