Saturday, November 20, 2021

Ode to Education…Learning

Poem Day 20

Ode to Education…Learning

Surely, it starts at birth, “mewling and puking,”
grows with each new diaper change
clamors once more when words drip
haphazardly with each passing week
Until Kinder begs the little ones,
motions for them to come, especially
the gifted ones already alphabetized
and number and word smart.

Who cares about treats and curfews
when Shakespeare and Neruda,
Angelou, Hughes, and even Keats bask
without forgiveness and repercussions,
toying with 7th and 8th graders,
their swirling minds, often too preoccupied
with hormones, pop music, and that other stuff?

Soon—oh, please!—the high school years,
filled with gushings of nothingness,
and cars, girls, dances, cars, video
and football games—all too ephemeral.

When poetry seeps into young minds
and creates anguish, sometimes feelings
of osmosis, feelings of why me when they read
the drowning words of Plath and her ilk.

Why not sit quietly in your seats, absorbing
Chaucer, Safford, Poe, and even Wordsworth?
Throw in some Dickinson, e.e. cummings
with a dash of Whitman, Yeats, and Dylan Thomas—
and then you feel the glorious rhythm of words
and cadences, dripping, swirling, curling beneath
your feet like the tortoiseshell cat you inherited.

Finally, your education learning becomes yours by choice.

Instead of Thomas’ Do not go gentle in that good night”
and death grabbing at your ankles, try on
with relish do not go gentle into learning, 
along a creek bank or cloistered in a stand of quakies,
or even in a meadow loaded with a herd of deer.

Go gangbusters, pell mell, screaming
at top of your lungs like you did when playing
“No bears out tonight” with your friends and cousins,
remembering that learning is glorious and kind and good
allowing it to seep soothingly into your soul, cleansing it
from all those other trappings, often forced learning.

Hence, learn on and take captive all tidbits
you sense will warm you when you are old
and can’t see or hear or taste….

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