Friday, September 12, 2008

Willing to Count Anything or Anyone

OK, so I'm not featuring Shakespeare today, but I like this picture anyway:

Two delightful poem excerpts this week. The first is by Mary Cornish and is included in Poetry 180. Billy Collins initiated Poetry 180 "to make it easy for students to hear or read a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year. I have selected the poems you will find here with high school students in mind. They are intended to be listened to, and I suggest that all members of the school community be included as readers. A great time for the readings would be following the end of daily announcements over the public address system." Sounds like a great idea.

by Mary Cornish

I like the generosity of numbers.
The way, for example,
they are willing to count
anything or anyone:
two pickles, one door to the room,
eight dancers dressed as swans.

I like the domesticity of addition--
add two cups of milk and stir--
the sense of plenty: six plums
on the ground, three more
falling from the tree.

And multiplication's school
of fish times fish,
whose silver bodies breed
beneath the shadow
of a boat.

Read the rest at Poetry 180

Poet Charles Simic is wonderfully original as he describes why he would like to be a stone...

An excerpt of Stone
by Charles Simic

From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.
Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
And listen.

You can read the whole thing here.

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