First Year Teacher to His Students

Gorgeous poem from the 5/18/2010 Writers Almanac

First Year Teacher to His Students

by Gary J. Whitehead

<!– (from Measuring Cubits While the Thunder Claps) –>

Go now into summer, into the backs of cars,
into the black maws of your own changing,
onto the boardwalks of a thousand splinters,
onto the beaches of a hundred fond memories
in wait, where the sea in all its indefatigability
stammers at the invitation. Go to your vacation,

to the late morning cool of your basement rooms,
the honeysuckle evening of the first kiss, the first
dip and pivot, swivel and twist. Go to where
the clipper ships sail far upriver, where the salmon
swim in the clean, cool pools just to spawn.
Wake to what the spider unspools into a silver

dawn dripping with light. Sleep in sleeping bags,
sleep in sand, sleep at someone else’s house
in a land you’ve never been, where the dreamers
dream in a language you only half understand.
Slip beneath the sheets, slide toward the plate,
swing beneath the bandstand where the secret

things await. Be glad, or be sad if you want,
but be, and be a part of all that marches past
like a parade, and wade through it or swim in it
or dive in it with your eyes open and your mind
open to wind, rain, long days of sun and longer
nights of city lights mixing on wet streets like paint.

“First Year Teacher to His Students” by Gary J. Whitehead, from Measuring Cubits While the Thunder Claps. © David Robert Brooks, 2008. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

3 responses to “First Year Teacher to His Students

  1. Pingback: Online Education to Become a Teacher | Online Education

  2. Pingback: » The End of History (Books)

  3. Hello, thanks for posting my poem. That’s most kind of you. Would you consider adding a link to my web site? I’d appreciate it. My web site is: http://www.garyjwhitehead.com

    All best,

    Gary

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