On the Second November’s Poems

In school, November, traditionally, is the shortest month.  That means, of course, the fewest number of poems for my classes.  November is also deer- hunting month here in mountainous central Maine, so many of the poems I chose for the month had to do with deer, and the woods, and things that the boys in class would be able to relate to.  Because I am a Brontë freak, I threw in a bunch of Emily, as well; she’s a November kind of girl, with a dark and lowering mindset.  She’s stubborn, like November.
November is also the month of birthdays for many of the best people I know–not to mention the traditional month of Thanksgiving.  Suffice it to say that I’m thankful for all those people, and all these poems.

November 1, Tuesday: Meg Kearney, “Ticket

Meg Kearney

November 2, Wednesday: Jane Kenyon, “In Memory of Jack”

November 3, Thursday: Hal Sirowitz, “Reusing Words

November 4:  Friday: Dawn Potter, “Nostalgia

November 7, Monday: Ellen Bryant Voigt, “Apple Tree”

Emily Brontë

November 8, Tuesday: Linda Pastan, “November Rain

November 9, Wednesday: David Adams, “Preface for the Feast of All Souls”

November 10, Thursday: Thomas Hardy, “The Man He Killed” (for Veterans’ Day)

November 14, Monday: Emily Brontë, “Fall, Leaves, Fall

November 15, Tuesday: Richard Wilbur, “Then

November 16, Wednesday:Kenneth Rexroth, “Falling Leaves and Early Snow

November 17: Thursday: Laure-Anne Bosselaar, “Birthday” (because it’s her birthday!)

November 18, Friday: Emily Brontë, “Spellbound

November 21, Monday: David Adams, “Sans” (This is one of my favorite by David Adams–it is November in spirit, if not in fact.)

November 22, Tuesday: Cleopatra Mathis, “Writing”

Cleopatra Mathis

November 23-25:  Thanksgiving break!

November 28, Monday: Ruth Stone, “Advice

November 29, Tuesday: Andrea Hollander Budy, “What I Need It For”  (This one was for me:  I needed the cheering of the flowers, so I gave myself the bouquet.)

November 30, Wednesday: Rosemary Starace, “Kind Thoughts” (I took this one out of Letters to the World: Poems from the Wom-Po Listserv, an anthology I had the great pleasure of appearing in a couple of years ago.)

Now:  onto December, where all the poems will be presents.


One of the most gratifying parts of this continued poetry experiment is simply this:  my students expect that we will start class with a poem.  There is no longer the level of complaint (poems?  Ew!) that I got at the beginning of the first year–there are no longer complaints at all.  Is this success?  Is the experiment changing expectations or atmosphere?  I’d like to think it is.


  1. Jenny Doughty

    I think it’s a hugely successful experiment. Nice choice of poems – I’m assuming Ruth Stone is there partly in honour of her death a week or so ago as well as being well-deserved.


    • Jenny, I did choose the Stone poem for just that reason–it’s a great loss…but 96 years worth of poetry!


  2. Yay! You are so great! XX


  3. Anne, thank you so much for choosing my poem and for sharing it here! I love that you share a poem every day with your students–what a generous project. And I was so moved to be included among such illustrious company.


    • Rosemary, I have your poem bookmarked in Letters to the World with a picture of my daughter Rosalie, who is all the daughters you write of, petals and everything. Thank you for your poem.


  4. Thank YOU, Anne. I’m so touched to know this! I love that your daughter’s name is Rosalie! Sweet greetings to her.

    And it’s so nice to finally “meet” you, years after the anthology. 🙂


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