Thursday, April 21, 2016

It's Keep a Poem in Your Pocket Day

As part of National Poetry Month, today is "Keep a Poem in Your Pocket Day."   The idea is to keep a poem in your pocket and share with others as a reminder of the ever present art and poetry of the world. Here are the poems my Youth Advisory Board passed out at school today.

Trees – Mark Haddon

They stand in parks and graveyards and gardens.
Some of them are taller than department stores,
yet they do not draw attention tothemselves.
You will be fitting a heated towel rail one day
and see, through the louvre window,
a shoal of olive-green fish changing direction
in the air that swims above the little gardens.
Or you will wake at your aunt’s cottage,
your sleep broken by a coal train on the empty hill
as the oaks roar in the wind off the channel.
Your kindness to animals, your skill at the clarinet,
these are accidental things.
We lost this game a long way back.
Look at you. You’re reading poetry.
Outside the spring air is thick
with the seeds of their children.

Introduction to Poetry
By Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
And hold it up to the light like a color slide
Or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into the poem
And watch him probe his way out,
Or walk inside the poem’s room and
Feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to water ski
Across the surface of a poem, waving
At the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
Is tie the poem to a chair with rope
And torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
To find out what it really means.

My Teacher Ate My Homework
By Kenn Nesbitt

My teacher ate my homework,
which I thought was rather odd.
He sniffed at it and smiled
with an approving sort of nod.
He took a little nibble --
it's unusual, but true --
then had a somewhat larger bite
and gave a thoughtful chew.
I think he must have liked it,
for he really went to town.
He gobbled it with gusto
and he wolfed the whole thing down.
He licked off all his fingers,
gave a burp and said, "You pass."
I guess thats how they grade you
when you're in a cooking class.

The Rose That Grew From Concrete
By Tupac Shakur

Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.

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