Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

Zimmer in Grade School by Paul Zimmer

In grade school I wondered
Why I had been born
To wrestle in the ashy puddles
With my square nose
Streaming mucus and blood,
My knuckles puffed from combat
And the old nun's ruler.
I feared everything: God,
Learning, and my schoolmates.
I could not count, spell, or read. 
My report card proclaimed
These scarlet failures. 
My parents wrung their loving hands.
My guardian angel wept constantly.

But I could never hide anything. 
If I peed my pants in class
The puddle was always quickly evident,
My worst mistakes were at
The blackboard for Jesus and all
The saints to see. 
         Even now,
When I hide behind elaborate mask,
It is always known that I am Zimmer,
The one who does the messy papers
And fractures all his crayons,
Who spits upon the radiators
And sits all day in shame
Outside the office of the principal.

~ from Crossing to Sunlight Revisited: New and Selected Poems 
(The University of Georgia Press, 2007)


website contents © copyright 2017 by Sharon Singer
with the exception of 'poems of the week' where © copyright remains with the poets or their publishers