On December’s Poems
Another short month. Only 16 class days in December, before the Christmas break;
only, then, 16 poems–but we lost one because of the snow day early in the month. Simply because winter began in this month, I decided that we should read poems about snow. Emerson’s “The Snowstorm” conveniently appeared on The Writer’s Almanac on November 30th, so I held it over to begin the new month with it. Other pieces were suggested by wonderful friends: readers, writers and teachers (I’m always looking for suggestions…). One student requested a poem about skiing, and I was only able to find one on short notice–I didn’t really care for it, but I’ll do anything to play a request…heck, I’ll do anything to receive a request. One of the most amusing things this month happened when I had guest readers: in one class, a student from last year’s 7th period appeared in the doorway, and volunteered to read the poem; in another, one of the girls tried out her elocution. Both were a bit uncertain in their deliveries, but game, and I’m always in favor of that. We finished up the month and year with Robert Frost, mostly because I’ve quite the soft spot for the man, but secondarily because he not only wrote wildly appropriate poems, but has a wildly appropriate name.
December 1, Wednesday: “The Snowstorm” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
December 2, Thursday: “as the snow fell” by Rg Gregory, because my friend Jenny Doughty the poet recommended it
December 3, Friday: “Glass Night” by Wesley McNair, because my friend Brenda Edmands the writer recommended it
December 6, Monday: Snowday! (I told the kids I caused it, what with these snow poems.)
December 7, Tuesday: “Snow Day” by Billy Collins, in honor of yesterday
December 8, Wednesday: “Snow in the Suburbs” by Thomas Hardy (another Jenny Doughty recommendation)
December 9, Thursday: “The Snow Storm” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
December 10, Friday: “Snow Flurries” by Raymond A. Foss
December 13, Monday: “The snow is melting” by Kobayashi Issa (because it was 50º and raining, and last week’s snow was now part of the runoff; and also because a boy in first period complained about a short poem last week–so I gave him a shorter one!)
December 14, Tuesday: “The Snow Man” by Wallace Stevens
December 15, Wednesday: “Snow in the Trees” by Raymond A. Foss, because a girl requested a poem about skiing. Okay.
December 16, Thursday: “The Snow that never drifts–“ by Emily Dickinson–it was her birthday earlier in the month, too.
December 17, Friday: “Snow & Ice” by Quincy Troupe
December 20, Monday: “The Onset” by Robert Frost
December 21, Tuesday: “Dust of Snow” by Robert Frost
December 22, Wednesday: “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost (I saved this one for last intentionally)
December 23-January 3: vacation. That gives me ten days to figure out what kinds of poems I should bring to class for January–and that gives people ten days to send me suggestions. As always, I look forward to any and all suggestions, and am entirely grateful for such.