“Words are the Model, Words are the Tools, Words are the Boards, Words are the Nails.” – Richard Rhodes
“Poetry isn’t a profession, it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.” –Mary Oliver
Enjoy these poems…read them quietly, read them aloud, share them, use them for teaching/motivation:
This is one of my favorite poems by Langston Hughes:
Mother to Son
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
Ducks At Peace
By Hal Sirowitz
I’d like to take my family to the lake,
Father said, so they could see how well
the animal & fish kingdoms get along.
You hardly ever see ducks fighting.
If they do, it’s done in private.
We should follow their example,
& not air our dirty laundry in public.
That was what I told your mother
at the restaurant, that she should
save her complaints for when we
get home. She said she had already
complained there. She was hoping
she’d get better results if she changed locations.
by Yevgeny Yevtushenko
All these borders—
bug me! Nothing
do I know
of Buenos Aires , or
–and I should
know! I should be able to go
and walk around,
and talk to the people,
even if I can’t talk so good,
around. Like a little kid
I want to ride a bus
and I want an art
that is something
else, is an exciting sound—
Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden
Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?