Poems In All Places


As it is National Poetry Month, I’m thinking of my old life at Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio.  There, I raised goats and taught Humanities.  April came on the heels of a long late winter spent boiling sap around a fire with my friends Leonard and Don.  Often, my final hour before going to bed was spent in the school’s industrial kitchen, washing pots and spoons and pans and coffee mugs, setting them aside for the next morning, when we would rise and begin the fire again.  When April came, the goat kids were getting born and the weather offered up nights that didn’t drop so far down the thermometer, and my students and I hung poems all over our school.  We hung them in the halls, the classrooms, the bathrooms, the dorm rooms, the kitchen.  We hung them in the dining hall and the office and the barn.  It was a tradition I loved.  I didn’t know if other folks loved it, but I loved coming down the boys’ side hall (back in the day there were separate staircase for boys and girls), and there would be Dean Young or Mary Oliver or Pablo Neruda.  Then, today I saw a Facebook from a former student of mine–a college student now–who said, “Happy National Poetry Month! 
I realize now how much I miss seeing poems taped to the walls in sometimes peculiar places,” followed by the e.e. cummings poem “in time of daffodils.”  We wrote back and forth a few times, and then she made this Facebook Page Poems in All Places (that’s a great title, right?).  It’s got 58 members in its first hour of existence.  Go ahead over there and post a photo of a poem you’ve found.  Or write your original.  Or just tell us all what poems you love.  It’s April.  It’s just the right time.


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