Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Teacher, One Who Teaches

“Eragon looked back at him, confused. "I don't understand."
"Of course you don't," said Brom impatiently. "That's why
 I'm teaching you and not the other way around.” 

“Let us pick up our books and our pens,” I said. “They are 
our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher,
 one book and one pen can change the world.” 

“It was my teacher's genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact which made the first years of my education so beautiful.
― Helen KellerThe Story of My Life

Midweek Motif ~ Teacher 
One Who Teaches

World Teachers' Day, held annually on October 5 since 1994, commemorates teachers’ organizations worldwide. Its aim is to mobilize support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers. We're a couple of days late, but still ...

Your challenge:  Bring a great teacher memory to life in a new poem. Or, if you don't have one, use learning as your motif.

An Old Man’s Thought of School
Written by Walt Whitman

AN old man's thought of school,
An old man gathering youthful memories and blooms that youth itself cannot.

Now only do I know you,
O fair auroral skies - O morning dew upon the grass!

And these I see, these sparkling eyes,
These stores of mystic meaning, these young lives,
Building, equipping like a fleet of ships, immortal ships,
Soon to sail out over the measureless seas,
On the soul's voyage.

Only a lot of boys and girls?
Only the tiresome spelling, writing, ciphering classes?
Only a public school?

Ah more, infinitely more;
(As George Fox rais'd his warning cry, "Is it this pile of brick and
mortar, these dead floors, windows, rails, you call the church?
Why this is not the church at all-the church is living, ever living souls.")

And you America,
Cast you the real reckoning for your present?
The lights and shadows of your future, good or evil?
To girlhood, boyhood look, the teacher and the school.

Learning to Read


Very soon the Yankee teachers
   Came down and set up school;
But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it,—
   It was agin’ their rule.

Our masters always tried to hide
   Book learning from our eyes;
Knowledge did’nt agree with slavery—
   ’Twould make us all too wise.

But some of us would try to steal
   A little from the book.
And put the words together,
   And learn by hook or crook.

I remember Uncle Caldwell,
   Who took pot liquor fat
And greased the pages of his book,
   And hid it in his hat.
. . . . 
                                           (Read the rest HERE at the Poetry Foundation)

She is proud of her papá
because he comes
to their little grey school,
converted from army barracks,
to teach español
to Mrs. Brenda’s fifth grade.
And that means they don’t
have to listen to that awful
Señora Beister on TV
with her screech owl version
of “Las mañanitas” and her annoying
forefinger to the ear . . . . 
and then to the lips,
               y repitan.
He teaches them to order
Coca-Cola en el restaurán–
               Señor, quisiera una Coca, por favor
. . . . 
          (Read the rest HERE at the Poetry Foundation .)
Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below 
and visit others in the spirit of the community.

(Next week Sumana Roy's prompt will be FIRE. )


  1. being a teacher is so much more than teaching . for some kids school is the only safe place they know .and sometimes the kids break your heArt

    1. Don't I know it! But we keep re-Growing the heart, loving deeper. The trick is learning to care for ourselves and save some energy for home and family and fun.

  2. Hey everyone,

    Wooooo hoooo its time for Midweek Motif and what a fantastic topic we have this week! I took this opportunity to honor my college professor.. who instilled the love and passion for Literature in me :D hope you all like the poem :D

    Lots of love,

    1. Hey, Sanaa! Good choice. That love for literature endures forever.

    2. Thanks Susan :D it sure does.

  3. a great topic Susan...posted mine :)

    1. You are early today, Sumana! Delighted to see you and honor you, too, as a teacher.

  4. Good Morning! What a day of luscious reading we have ahead! Do not feel you have to confine yourself to the classroom if another kind of teacher fills your mind and heart today.

  5. Hi All, I've been missing lately.

    Thanks for the prompt Susan. It's perfect as I celebrate my first year here. Thank you all for being my teachers :)

  6. Hi Susan,

    Welcome back to hosting ~ I have been busy during weekends so I haven't participated in the Sunday's link up ~

    Wishing you all Happy Wednesday ~

    1. You are welcome anytime. Taking up this challenge, you bring me lot of joy.

  7. Thank you for the educational prompt - and good to see you back too!

  8. Good morning, kidlets! There is a gentle rain falling outside and I am well pleased to be at my desk, sending out messages to the outside world, LOL. The best teachers are the ones with big hearts, like the teachers in our community. I look forward to reading!

    1. Amen! Gentle Rain s so refreshing and so are this day's poems.

  9. Good afternoon, Sherry! I took you up on your suggestion and linked up my poem here. Thanks for that...happy to participate.

    1. So nice to see you here :D welcome!!

    2. Welcome, Bodhirose! I'm very happy that Sherry encouraged you to bring us your poem.

    3. Hi Sanaa and Susan...thanks for the warm welcome. I appreciate that!

      Gayle ~

  10. Well, happy day to all teachers, for myself i never taught a day in my life, Library work was my blessing and yet i am thankful for all the teachers in my learning life

    much love...

    1. I am sure you taught without calling it teaching. Some of the sweetest one to one teaching we do does not take place in a classroom. I have been grateful for all the librarians in my life!

  11. Thank you Susan--this was a pleasure to write and can't wait to read everyone's work--

    1. Thank you, Audrey. It's always good to see you here.

  12. I was a teacher for some of my career life. It is one of the most difficult jobs. So glad for this prompt Susan. Teachers deserve recognition.

    1. Wonderful to see you, Myrna. I find it that teachers can be the best appreciators of other teachers.

  13. Replies
    1. Hey! I was hoping you would join us!

    2. Hi!! Thank you, it feels so nice to be looked for! :)

  14. Always more to learn no matter the age. Another fantastic prompt and so grateful Susan for you and your inspiration ...

    1. Thank you, Leslie. I am also a lifelong learner.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I'm late to the party, but glad to be here anyway!

  16. Thanks for the prompt... Forgot to link mine through :-)

    1. You are welcome! I'm glad you remembered.

  17. Thanks for the prompt, and apologies that I come very late to this – hardly been home all week, with many commitments. But it inspired some ideas, and also I wanted to try another haibun. :-)