Unhand that poem!

It’s Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day!  As always, I had several poems in my  pockets.  I’ve been telling my students about this for weeks now.  Yesterday, to make sure they were prepared for the day, I brought a bunch of poems to class so that students could choose one for their pockets.

And choose they did.  I hadn’t expected them to be quite so excited and excitable about it, though, I have to admit.  I had to back away from the table where I’d laid out the poems, give them more space.  One student actually copied out a Shelley poem for me (“Not for your pocket, I just thought you’d like it.”), and I had students arguing over who Hughes’ “Harlem Night Song” and Georgia Douglas Johnson’s “I Want to Die While You Love Me” belonged to.  I finally had to go make extra copies of both poems to avert a crisis!

And today marks the end of my tanka-a-day challenge:

Langston’s words pull me
swing me, laugh and dance with me
settle inside me
I love so many poets
but always hear his voice first

Thanks, everyone, for all your tanka encouragement.  Even those of you (who shall remain nameless) who were over my all-tanka-all-the-time stance pretty quickly … even you inspired me to keep finding and writing another and another still!  I’ve actually written thirty-five tanka this month!


8 thoughts on “Unhand that poem!

  1. molly

    congratulations, and well done. I must say that the daily nature of it was nice for me. I like this kind of routine.


    1. I liked the routine, too … it just got a little hard as the month wore on and I got more and more tired! I’ll still post them from time to time (maybe I’ll even stick with daily for a while).


    1. Oh, she is a bright light, is Georgia Douglas Johnson. And that particular poem blows me away. I was pleased to see that so many of my students got so excited about it. I handed Mari Evans’ “Who Can Be Born Black” to one student, and I thought she would burst into flame. “I need about six copies of this,” she said. “I have too many people to give this to.” I loved that.


  2. juliebrock

    YAY! We did Poem in your pocket day too, it was so fun to surprise kids in the hall and ask for their poems – great day.

    I have looked forward to the tankas, and am so glad you did it! hooray 🙂


    1. My students were so funny when I told them about it. They thought it sounded ridiculous, insisted that they would have nothing to do with it. Yeah, and then the general mayhem as they inhaled the poems I put out for them to choose from!


  3. Pingback: Le parole mi salveranno? « Acid Juicy

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