I’ve written much poetry through the years, but always in occasional bursts, seasonal storms of inspiration that produce five to ten new poems and then no more. I hope I can begin writing poems more often, but until then, I wanted to start something new (and add some regular content to the blog) by introducing Friday Poems, a regular series in which I’ll post an old poem every Friday.
Today’s poem was written when I was teaching high school English at Freeman Academy. We were reading Walden by Thoreau and so I took my junior class to the prairie arboretum behind the school in hopes that they would more readily identify with the text and in some way, catch a bit more of Thoreau’s message.
I brought you here today with hopes
That cricket calls and autumn breezes
And the fading warmth of sun
Might somehow help,
Might somehow call you as a class
Into a Thoreauvian trance.
You would read a bit,
Raise your eyes from the page and ponder-
“I went to the woods . . .”
“I did not wish to live what was not life . . .”
“I wanted to live deep and suck the out all the marrow . . .”
“Our life is frittered away by detail . . .”
“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity . . .”
But your minds were swept up in
“Saint Vitus’ dance” of cheap talk and flirting
and hanging out as friends.
Born was a gazebo sanctuary
Of talk and procrastination and
The sweet scent of friendship.
Perhaps today was a failure.
Perhaps, success unseen.
October 2, 2006