On February’s Poems

For February, because it’s the month of Valentine’s Day, I went with love poems.  When I announced that, on the first, to the classes, they all groaned, because, cynical 17-year-olds that they are, to them love poems mean hearts and flowers and squishy-ness.  Fine!  Sometimes we all just need a good dose of hearts and flowers and squishy-ness.  However, I tried to explain to them that romantic love is by far not the only kind of love there is.  People love all sorts of weird stuff.  Anchovies, for instance:  so I dashed off a note to Nancy Henry

For Nancy

asking to use her “Anchovy” piece (of course, she does it from memory at readings, and is far more animated than I could ever be).  Over the course of the day, as I read that poem to each class, I found very few kids who liked anchovies…How could anyone be in love with THAT? they all wanted to know.  Well, someone is.

February 1, Tuesday: “somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond” by e. e. cummings (suggested by Jenny Doughty)

February 2, Wednesday:  yet another snow day.  Wow.

February 3, Thursday:  “Anchovy” by Nancy A. Henry

February 4, Friday:  “On Julia’s Clothes” by Robert Herrick (This poem contains the most awesome word in the history of poetry.  Just sayin’.)

February 7, Monday:  “It’s All I Have to Bring Today” by Emily Dickinson

February 8, Tuesday:  “Daily I Fall in Love with Waitresses” by Elliot Fried

February 9, Wednesday:  “Daily I Fall in Love with Mechanics” by Susan Thurston Joy!  We were having a quiz in class, and a boy refused to start until he’d heard today’s poem.  Success!  Small, but I’ll take anything!

February 11, Friday:  “To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet

Anne Bradstreet



February 14, Monday:  “For You, Friend” by Ted Kooser

February 15, Tuesday:  “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden

February 16, Wednesday: “Ode to the Potato” by Barbara Hamby

February 17, Thursday: “For Caitlin, Setting off to See the World Without her Coat” by Theodore Deppe

February 18, Friday:  winter carnival.  No class.  Rats.

February 21-25:  February vacation!

February 28, Monday: “This May Be” by Martha Rhodes


  1. Anne, your students are so fortunate! I’m honored that you included Anchovy in your selections! I’m going to revisit these well-chosen poems!


  2. Jenny Doughty

    I’m so glad you included that poem – it’s one of my favourites 🙂


  3. I have always loved “Those Winter Sundays,” and teach it as absolutely often as possible. Ted’s poem was a lovely surprise–thank you for that gift.


  4. Just saw your inclusion of my poem in your class. Many thanks. And would love to have had you as a teacher…but then we were likely more classmates.


    • Susan, I was happy to do it. The entire school year was an experiment in poetry. Maybe I’ve converted some kids. I’ll try again next school year, and see if I can pull some more on board with us. Thanks for writing poems.


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