Friday, April 11, 2014

Month of Poetry, 2014, Day 11: A Missed Opportunity

A Missed Opportunity

My seventh-grade English teacher,
in a lame and transparent (to me now,
28 years later) to make poetry “relevant,”
told us to write down the words to a song
that was like a poem. 

I chose U2’s “October” 
-- nine lines long 
(even then I resisted authority) --

And the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear
What do I care?

And kingdoms rise 
And kingdoms fall
But you go on
And on

Mrs. B. -- who equated quality with quantity --
doubted this was a whole song. “What? Do
they just repeat it again and again?”

She did not invite the class to bring in tapes
of our songs, or she would have heard the 
haunting piano instrumental. She did not use 
"October" as an example of metaphor, of saying a lot
with a few words, of “this leaving-out business.”

She merely “harumphed” my song and my
attitude and gave me a B.

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