On the Second March’s Poems

March, in public school, is the longest of months, and frequently the dreariest, because March is bipolar.  That whole schtick about coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb?  Well, not exactly.  On March 21st the temperatures were in the 80’s–so warm that I broke out sandals to wear to school.  Here.  In Central Maine.  On March 28th it started to snow, and kept it up for 24 hours–and now, everything is sticky and dingy with a couple of inches of cold slushy white.  My poetry moods, as demonstrated below, were certainly swinging with the weather…but I chose to finish off with “Summer Sun” because I want summer sun.  Teasing in the third week of March is just wrong.  Wrong, I tell you.

(March does contain the birthday of my favorite guy–that’s the high point of the month, as far as I’m concerned.)

March 1, Thursday: David Budbill, “March

Christina Rosetti

March 2, Friday:  Christina Rosetti, “A Birthday” (for my son Benjamin, who turned 16 today)

March 5, Monday:  Mary Oliver, “The Winter Wood Arrives

March 6, Tuesday: David Adams, “The Zone of Middle Dimensions”

March 7, Wednesday: Tess Gallagher, “Under Stars

March 8, Thursday:  Robert Frost, “Spring Pools

March 9, Friday: Joe Bolton, “Twilight”

March 12, Monday: Robert Frost, “A Patch of Snow

March 13, Tuesday: Jane Kenyon, “The Clearing

March 14, Wednesday: Christine Klocek-Lim, “First Crocus” (because mine are coming up!)

(March 15 & 16:  inservice days.  Boo to that.)

March 19, Monday:  Maxine Kumin, “After the Heat Wave” (because of yesterday’s 75 degree temps)

March 20, Tuesday: James Wright, “March

March 21, Wednesday: Laure-Anne Bosselaar, “At the Musée Rodin in Paris”

March 22, Thursday: Tess Gallagher, “Not There”

March 23, Friday: Emily Dickenson, “To See the Summer Sky” (because of the beautiful sky and unseasonably warm temperatures)

March 26, Monday: Robert Frost, “Goodbye, and Keep Cold” (because it’s his birthday!)

March 27, Tuesday:  Michael Ryan, “Contentment

Robert Louis Stevenson

March 28, Wednesday: Virginia Conn, “Donut Girl” (because my advisee Jena is a doughnut girl)

March 29, Thursday: Mary Oliver, “An Old Whorehouse

March 30, Friday: Robert Louis Stevenson, “Summer Sun

Any suggestions for April, which conveniently happens to be National Poetry Month?  Send them along.


  1. portlandfriendsmeeting

    Poems for April? Got to include Browning’s “Home thoughts from Abroad” surely? http://www.btinternet.com/~brentours/ENGP65.htm (Don’t go to the Bartleby site – they have a misprint of ‘Mary’ for ‘May’ in it).

    I suppose being in school you can’t use George Herbert’s “Easter Wings” can you? http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173626 – if it’s printed out they might enjoy the shape. Same problem with Hopkins’ “Spring” – http://www.bartleby.com/122/9.html – but it’s a poem I love.

    How about Ted Hughes’ “April Birthday”? http://livingintheround.blogspot.com/2008/04/april-birthday-by-ted-hughes.html

    Here’s another one by Hughes, though possibly too long for your purposes: http://www.poemhunter.com/best-poems/ted-hughes/daffodils-2/

    And can you have daffodils without Wordsworth wandering lonely as a cloud? http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/daffodils/ Pair it with the section from Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere journal where she describes the scene – see http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~broglio/1102/4_15_1802grasmere.html


  2. portlandfriendsmeeting

    What about Browning’s “Home thoughts from abroad”? Don’t use the Bartleby site for this one – there’s a misprint of ‘Mary’ for ‘May’ in it.

    There are a couple of good Ted Hughes poems for April – “April birthday”, http://livingintheround.blogspot.com/2008/04/april-birthday-by-ted-hughes.html and “Daffodils”, http://www.poemhunter.com/best-poems/ted-hughes/daffodils-2/

    And if you’re going to have daffodils, how can you not have Wordsworth? http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/daffodils/ . It would be good paired with the entry from Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere journals where she talks about the day they saw the daffodils: http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~broglio/1102/4_15_1802grasmere.html

    Personally I’m fond of both George Herbert’s “Easter Wings” (and the students might enjoy the shape) and Hopkins’ “Spring”, but they’re both overtly religious and it might not be appropriate for school – not sure what your limitations are on that.



    • “Home Thoughts from Abroad”! Last year I read that to the classes the day before we left on the trip to the UK. Of course I shall include it in the repertoire again. Thanks, as always, Jenny, for the suggestions.


  3. Elderly Friend

    Hard to believe that Ben is 16. It seems only yesterday that we were friends


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