Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Teaching

“Every home is a university and the parents are the teachers.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

“The learning process is something you can incite, 
literally incite, like a riot.” 

“If you don't have a policy against nonsense you can wind up with a dozen timid little rabbits lined up in the hall outside your office, all waiting to whisper the same imbecilic question in your ear.” 
“I urge you to be teachers so that you can join with children as the co-collaborators in a plot to build a little place of ecstasy and poetry and gentle joy” 

Those Who Can, Teach. Those Who Cannot, Pass Laws About Teaching

Midweek Motif ~ Teaching
"World Teachers’ Day held annually on 5 October, is a UNESCO initiative, a day devoted to appreciating, assessing, and improving the educators of the world. The real point is to provide a time to look at and address issues pertaining to teachers."
What is teaching?  If it has issues and joys and sorrows, what are they?  Beyond all the questions are only our impressions . . . and our respect.   I found teaching to be a marvelous interaction with other beings, most of them human.

Your Challenge:  Write a new poem that reveals teaching from your experience as teacher, student or observer.

Excerpt from Ego

Related Poem Content Details

I just didn’t get it—
even with the teacher holding an orange (the earth) in one hand
and a lemon (the moon) in the other,
her favorite student (the sun) standing behind her with a flashlight.
I just couldn’t grasp it—
this whole citrus universe, these bumpy planets revolving so slowly
no one could even see themselves moving.
. . . . 
(Read the rest HERE.)
Excerpt from Immigrant Blues

Related Poem Content Details

People have been trying to kill me since I was born, 
a man tells his son, trying to explain 
the wisdom of learning a second tongue. 

It’s an old story from the previous century 
about my father and me. 

The same old story from yesterday morning 
about me and my son. 

It’s called “Survival Strategies 
and the Melancholy of Racial Assimilation.” 

It’s called “Psychological Paradigms of Displaced Persons,” 

called “The Child Who’d Rather Play than Study.” 

Practice until you feel 
the language inside you, says the man. 

But what does he know about inside and outside, 
my father who was spared nothing 
in spite of the languages he used? 
. . . . 
(Read the rest HERE.)

Related Poem Content Details

My chalk is no longer than a chip of fingernail, 
Chip by which I must explain this Monday 
Night the verbs “to get;” “to wear,” “to cut.” 
I’m not given much, these tired students, 
Knuckle-wrapped from work as roofers, 
Sour from scrubbing toilets and pedestal sinks. 
I’m given this room with five windows, 
A coffee machine, a piano with busted strings, 
The music of how we feel as the sun falls, 
Exhausted from keeping up. 
                                       I stand at 
The blackboard. The chalk is worn to a hangnail, 
Nearly gone, the dust of some educational bone. 
. . . . 
(Read the rest HERE.)

* * * 

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others 
in the spirit of the community.

 ( Next week Sumana's Midweek Motif will be ~   Wealth )


  1. There's so much one can do with "teaching" as a prompt. I'm looking forward to reading what others have written!

  2. Thank you for the prompt - I wonder if Alice counts as human ;) as ever a bit off course and apologies if i can't get back to you all - a bit off course at the moment too

    1. Off course for some is on course for others. We'll see you when you get here. About whether Alice is human or not? I'll believe what you tell me, heehee.

  3. Good Morning, Poets Unied. I'm miles away at my parents' house near ALbany, NY. We're going for a ride to see the begnning of the fall colors of the Catskills, So I may be slow to gettting back here. I'll catch up with you later!

  4. That sounds like a wonderful trip. Enjoy. Love the Denise. Duhamel and Li young Lee poems. Immigration would be a good future prompt. I wonder how many generations it takes for a person to assimilate into another culture and cease feeling that they belong somewhere else.Thank you for the poems and the prompt.

    1. Good ideas--both an immigration AND an assimilation prompt. And generations. Hmmm. Thanks.

  5. Thank you for this great prompt. It is worthwhile that the theme of Teachers' Day this year is "Valuing Teachers and Improving their Status". Our society idolises sportspeople, celebrates high achievers in business, deifies film-stars and singers, yet the teachers are "invisible" unsung heroes...

    1. Good point, Nicholas! And no one can sing a teacher's prise like you.

  6. I thought about how much we could learn from trees...........happy Wednesday, everyone! Fall colours in the Catskills sounds gorgeous! Will there be photo opps? For the Pantry?

    1. We both thought of learning from trees! Oh, yes, I've got some fine pictures--though I think the colors are only at 50% of capacity.

  7. Well, it took a while, but I'm in! I will read some today & some tomorrow. Thanks, Susan.

  8. Hi all, I am with my ma too and some internet connection problems as well...thanks for the wonderful prompt Susan & hope I'll be able to visit everyone...

    1. I hope you're enjoying your visit. Not to worry about anything!

  9. Good prompt. I'm not seeing the Mr. Linky link. Maybe my browser is being weird?

    1. Maybe. So sorry! Put your link here and I will enter it. AS people read yours, you can return the visit.

    2. Thanks for the response. I was able to view it on the mobile site. I'm not sure why. Now I can see everyone else's too. Cool.

  10. So sorry not to have got around to your posts. Thank you for all your visits and comments


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