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.
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
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