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
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)
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
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.