"Mrs. B really loves algebra, so she'll probably want to teach that."
Not she loves teaching algebra but she loves algebra. I thought it was funny/odd and then I realized, you know, I love teaching English but I love English itself, too, and many of its various components, like reading, symbolism, and poetry.
1. La Muerta [The Dead Woman]
2. Cien Sonetos de Amor: XVII [One Hundred Love Sonnets XVII]
|I am kind of a fan.
That being said, it's an interesting practice to read the same poem by many different translators. They each bring a different perspective to the piece.
I am drawn to the visceral and emotionally-charged language of Neruda's political poems, like the first, and his simple, relatable, genuine language in his love poems really resonates with me.
3. the lesson of the moth
|I think most people want to be the moth but are actually the roach, including myself.
4. Home (Bonus poem: do yourself a favor and click for the next poem when you get the bottom.)
Warsan Shire's poem Home came to my attention during the peak of the Syrian refugee crisis last year, as it probably did for many of you. The imagery is staggering and its honesty is brutal. This poem is proves that poems can be beautiful without being pretty.
After Home, it seems apropos to finish with a poem by author Charles Simic, who experienced displacement as a result of war. There is more to us than meets the eye, and sometimes we contain multitudes. Stone illustrates that beautifully. The subject, like the poem, should not be underestimated.
We can be hard, strong, calm, and dark while also being full of fire, light, and resilience.
Speaking of resilience, I'm adding a bonus poem because...why not?!
6. Maya Angelou's Still I Rise is an iconic, unapologetic rallying cry for Black women. I think parts of it can speak to the female experience in general, too. You can watch her recite it below, or search it up in YouTube. There are dozens to choose from, and each variation is powerful and moving.
Do you like poetry?
Share a poem that you love from school or your childhood!
What is a line from a song or poem that resonates with you?
Are you Archy or the moth?
*I'm in DC with my students so if this doesn't link, oops! Also, I would not be surprised if most of you skipped this post because, ugh, poetry, right? What is this, school?! Still, the English teacher in me can't help but wheedle: at least try one. Look at my commentary and pick the one you think you'll like. Try something new!