229. i thought i knew/i don’t want: Elisabeth Hewer

Why do we deny the truth when it is not only staring us in the face, but punching us in the nose over and over and over? When my son was two years old he had a seizure.  After the first doctor visit I was in denial.  For two weeks he was falling down and... Continue Reading →


228. Introduction to Poetry: Billy Collins

Reactions to Dead Poets Society are mixed.  Some romanticize it--people did when it came out.  I was learning to be a teacher when the movie came out and suddenly everyone wanted to teach kids to rebel and stand on desks.  More recently, I listened to a podcast where the hosts described the film as a... Continue Reading →

227. An American Sunrise: Joy Marjo

My mother always said that I thought too big. My voice is this blog and my teaching, both of which are unremarkable (in my mind).  Yet, I remind myself daily of the novels that have no publisher, the teacher recognition I do not earn or the public policy I am subjected to because I dare... Continue Reading →


226. Flag Salute: Esther Poper

My wife was preparing her unit on the Harlem Renaissance and I came up short--I could only name about three artists involved.  Now, I can't name that many writers from most literary movements, but when I called up Wikipedia I was at a loss to even recognize names beyond Hughes or Hurston (so, really, two names).... Continue Reading →


225. April Midnight: Arthur Symons

Another poem and poet I do not know.  Welcome to National Poetry Month! The Victorian poem Arthur Symons was the choice of our local high school's Poetry Out Loud representative, Casey Ober.  She went to the state competition and made the Top 10 regional finalists.  She coupled it with Suzanne Buffam's Enough", a pair of... Continue Reading →


224. Enough: Suzanne Buffam

Suzanne Buffam's Enough", along with Victorian poet Arthur Symons "April Midnight", was the choice of our local high school's Poetry Out Loud representative, Casey Ober.  She went to the state competition and made the Top 10 regional finalists. What was most interesting, in the interview I read, was her passion for the poem.  Ober enjoyed... Continue Reading →


223. Meditations on Statistical Method: J.V. Cunningham

Unfortunately, too many English and liberal arts majors throw their hands up and say, "I can't do math."  Idiots.  First, you can do math.  Second, that just gives license to all of the STEM kids to dismiss your teaching of poetry in a "why do we need to know this" way.  Don't go there. Let... Continue Reading →


222. The Magic of Technology: Aneta Brodski

Several years ago, I stumbled upon a YouTube thread where a deaf woman in her twenties was signing/discussing.... I don't know.  I don't sign.  There were no subtitles.  Whatever she was passionately putting out into the world was not for me. It was a bit of a revelation, because I think of everything being for... Continue Reading →


221. The Art of Making Possible: Nancy Scheibner

Is hope trite? My sister shared a parody pro-Hilary Clinton piece, which took me down the rabbit hole I'm sharing now because it ended with this poem.  Back in 1969, when the real Clinton was Welsley's valedictorian speaker, she, too, ended her speech with the last lines of "The Art of Making Possible" (and, being... Continue Reading →


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