Boxing Day

Well, I tried. I Googled "Boxing Day Poems" and came up with some of the worst poems I've read in a long time. It doesn't seem to be a day that inspires. It's not even a day anybody outside of the shrinking British Empire knows anything about.

I actually am filling boxes of things for the poor - my poor daughter, who just moved out and has still to collect an Armageddon's worth of flotsam and jetsam. Read more about Boxing Day


Teaching Poetry

There was a very interesting conversation going on at my table last Saturday night at our annual 46th District Democrats Holiday Party about the problems of teaching math. By a math teacher. Who more or less confessed that he still didn't know how to do it. I think he likely does do it, and do it rather well, but he didn't feel satisfied with his own efforts. Which made me think well of him.

The problem, he said, was the difference between knowing and teaching. If you've ever tried to teach someone how to tie their shoes or parallel park, you get the idea. Read more about Teaching Poetry



Owl in the Black Oaks

(Like this Blogger, I too am reading my way through Mary Oliver. Perhaps before the end, I will be reading no one but her. The others are important, but when I return to Oliver, I'm no longer convinced they are necessary.)

If a lynx, that plush fellow,
climbed down a
tree and left behind
his face, his thick neck

and, most of all, the lamps of his eyes,
there you would have it -
the owl,
the very owl

who haunts these trees,

Read more about Owlish>

My November Guest

My November Guest

My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted grey
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Read more about My November Guest>


From around 1947 or so. Seems particularly apropos, if not entirely accurate, on several fronts today.

No Holy Wars for Them

Robert Frost

States strong enough to do good are but few,
Their number would seem limited to three,
Good is a thing that they, the great, can do,
But puny little states can only be.
And being good for these means standing by
To watch a war in nominal alliance,
And when it's over watch the worlds supply
Get parceled out among the winning giants.
God, have You taken cognizance of this?

Read more about Nuisance?>