One Day…Maybe…After I…

It’s April! That means the thermometer might actually get past 40 degrees (though I’m not holding my breath), baseball has started (more on that tomorrow) and it’s National Poetry Month! Huzzah!

I haven’t been very good about posting poems the past couple of years, but I am resolved to do better this year. Which will probably last until I go to Utah on Thursday…we’ll see…

Today’s poem is all about waiting. Which I’m actually pretty good at doing. Which really isn’t something I should be proud of.


About Those Poems…

We’re past the halfway point in this National Poetry Month, and I’ve done a lousy job of promoting poetry on my blog. But Stephen Colbert did a decent job on Thursday night:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Caroline Kennedy
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

Running update: I have two concurrent goals: Run 12 times by May 9, and each time I run, go .10/mile further than the time before. Tonight: 2.3 miles. I’m on track for the May 9th goal…

Good Poems

This year throws me for a loop almost daily. Today, it was a group of high school students telling me that free verse poetry wasn’t “real poetry.” Poems MUST rhyme, they said.

It was the first time during a poetry unit that students balked at free verse poetry. Teens usually embrace the lack of restrictions and relative freedom that accompanies that style of poetry. But this group. They wanted boundaries. They wanted constraints.

It made me a little sad. Yet again, I see repercussions of constant testing. There is one right answer: a haiku is three lines, 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. Free verse poetry is just too…free for them.

Today’s free verse poem.

Since I can’t find a snazzy widget to track my running training on the blog, I’ll do it long-hand: 2.02 miles. Not yet ready to post times. Distance will suffice for now.

Next Year

For all of last week’s angst, now that it’s Sunday I am seeing a little clearer. And now that I’m removed from the angst, I can write about it somewhat coherently.

My teaching assignment is changing quite a bit next year. After grad school, I was hired to teach English. Even though when I finished student teaching 11 years ago, my goal was to teach media and journalism classes, I was going to teach English. And so I had accepted my fate and grew quite fond of my cage.

Two weeks ago, my friend who teaches newspaper and journalism made the heart-wrenching decision to leave. It wasn’t an easy decision for her, and she is taking an enormous leap of faith. I am sad I won’t see her everyday, but I am excited to see what she does–she’s crazy talented and will rock at whatever she chooses.

A day after the news was public, I started getting the questions.

“Will you take newspaper? Do you even want it?”

I wasn’t going to rush into my principal’s office and beg for the job; I figured I’d leave it up to him to ask me.

Ask me, he did, and in the process reduced my English teaching load to two classes.

The best analogy I can create is extraordinarily hyperbolic, but here it is nonetheless. I feel like Private Ryan at the end of the movie, being dragged away from France so he can return to the U.S. and live a happy life.

Teaching Junior English is a bit of a battlefield these days, with all the state testing that happens to them. I told my principal that I felt my new teaching assignment was abandoning my friends and colleagues, and he empathized, but felt that I am needed in these other classes more.

So, next year’s schedule:

AP Language and Composition
English 11
Popular Culture Studies
Journalistic Writing

I’m excited and terrified, but I won’t be alone (a good friend is taking over yearbook and we’ve promised to pull each other out of the fetal position if it gets to that point).

Back to the poetry: this is one of my favorites. So beautiful.

Seasons and Change

Today was a melancholy day, and before I share the news, I want to be “back in my right mind” so I can adequately express my simultaneous excitement and fear.

(Don’t get too excited–it’s not a guy, it’s my job.)

But this poem sums up how I’m feeling right now–and I find myself looking more and more for those “moments that should each last forever…”

Another Spring
by Kenneth Rexroth

The seasons revolve and the years change
With no assistance or supervision.
The moon, without taking thought,
Moves in its cycle, full, crescent, and full.

The white moon enters the heart of the river;
The air is drugged with azalea blossoms;
Deep in the night a pine cone falls;
Our campfire dies out in the empty mountains.

The sharp stars flicker in the tremulous branches;
The lake is black, bottomless in the crystalline night;
High in the sky the Northern Crown
Is cut in half by the dim summit of a snow peak.

O heart, heart, so singularly
Intransigent and corruptible,
Here we lie entranced by the starlit water,
And moments that should each last forever

Slide unconsciously by us like water.