On March’s Poems

This month is for Brenda and Becky, who remind me that March is Women’s History Month.  When asked what or whom I should read, Becky said:  How about women, strong, spunky, make-a-difference women.  Must be some poems about them.  Us. Hell, yeah.  How about poems by those women?  So I’ve been trolling through my books, looking at poetry by women, choosing pieces I like on the basis of the butt-kicking nature of the poet, or the poem itself.  Kind of fun, actually.

I gave the kids a challenge:  I’d read the poems, and not tell them what the March theme was.  The first student to figure out that the theme had to do with Women’s History Month would win a prize.  I wanted to see if anyone made the connection.  Midway through the month, the kids were still flailing.  Animals? No, not all of the poems had animals in them.  Fighting? Well, no, not that, either, though the speaker in Dorianne Laux’s poem “Late October” does swing away with a broom at cats.  Do you know all these people? Not personally, no–only some.

Midway through the month, one girl in my third period class noted that the poems all seemed to be by women.  True that.  But by the end of the month, no one had figured out that it was because of Women’s History Month.  Which says something, I’m afraid, for awareness.  Still, it is to that young woman that I will have to give a prize.  And guess what?  It’s going to be a book of poetry.  By a woman.  So there.

March 1, Tuesday:  “Europa” by Dawn Potter

March 2, Wednesday:  “Dark Morning:  Snow” by Jane Kenyon

Dawn's newest



March 3, Thursday:  “At the Musée Rodin in Paris” by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

March 4, Friday:  “The Minister’s Wife” by Annie Deppe

March 7, Monday: Ice day!  (This school year, I fear, is going to run until July at this rate.)

March 8, Tuesday:  “Substitute Teacher” by Dawn Potter

March 9, Wednesday: “Late October” by Dorianne Laux

March 9 & 10:  teacher workshop days (boo)

March 14, Monday:  “Lost Trains” by Gray Jacobik

March 15, Tuesday:  “Praise for a Color” by Adélia Prado (translated by Ellen Doré Watson)

Adelia Prado

March 16, Wednesday:  “Purple” by Adélia Prado (translated by Ellen Doré Watson)

March 17, Thursday: “Planting” by Shara McCallum

March 18, Friday:  “Petition” by Brigit Pegeen Kelly

March 21, Monday:  “Yorick’s Soliloquy” by Barbara Hamby

March 22, Tuesday: “Spring Training” by Maxine Kumin

March 23, Wednesday:  “Mythic Fragment” by Louise Glück

March 24, Thursday: “Hawk’s Shadow” by Louise Glück

March 25, Friday: “Morning at Great Pond” by Mary Oliver

March 28, Monday: “The Roses” by Mary Oliver

by Barbara Hamby

March 29, Tuesday: “After the Poetry Reading” by Maxine Kumin (The boy who claimed he’d heard of Emily Dickinson before?  He found this one rather amusing…).

March 30, Wednesday: “Caliban Passes His Driving Test on the Ninth Try” by Barbara Hamby

March 31, Thursday:  “Enough Music” by Dorianne Laux  (I adore the rope swing image in this poem.  I just do.)

April, of course, is National Poetry Month.


  1. I am so excited that you give kids my poems. You could tell them that “Europa” was about a farmer in Charleston, Maine, right next door to East Corinth. XX


    • How could I not give them yours, since you rock, and came to visit them? When I read from How the Crimes Happened in first period, a boy in the back row said, “That’s the book where her son gave her the title, right?” So. They listen. They remember.


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