"In School Days" (John Greenleaf Whittier) at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45487/in-school-days
Text: In School Days (pdf)
Audio: In School Days.mp3
"On the Value of Fantasies" (Elizabeth Brewster) in Imprints 12, Vol. II, pp. 184-185
“Calgary 2 a.m." (Christopher Wiseman) at https://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php%3Fdate=2006%252F03%252F18.html
Text: Calgary 2 a.m. (pdf)
"To Be of Use" (Marge Piercy) in Imprints 12, Vol. II, p. 223
Text: To Be of Use (pdf)
Audio:To Be of Use.mp3
"First Practice" (Gary Gildner) at http://edwardbyrne.blogspot.com/2007/10/gary-gildner-first-practice.html
Text: First Practice (pdf)
"Circular Saws" (Fred Cogswell) in Imprints 12, Vol. I, p. 249
Text: Circular Saws (pdf)
"Acquainted With the Night"(Robert Frost) in Imprints 12, Vol. II, p. 212
"The Layers" (Stanley Kunitz) in Imprints 12, Vol. II, p. 188
Text: The Layers (pdf)
"Young Soul" (Amiri Baraka) in Imprints 12, Vol. II, p. 189
Text: Young Soul (pdf)
Acquainted With the Night Alberta Distance Learning Centre
Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in the rain—and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet When far away an interrupted cry Came over houses from another street, But not to call me back or say good-by; And further still at an unearthly height, One luminary clock against the sky Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. I have been one acquainted with the night. Frost, Robert. “Acquainted with the Night.” Imprints 12. Ed. Kathy Evans, Lori Farren, Janet Hannaford, Stuart
Poyntz, Jim Robson, and Dom Saliani. Toronto: Gagelearning, 2002. Print.
Calgary 2.a.m. By Christopher Wiseman
In spite of the fact that it’s twenty below and winter has gone on for five long months, in spite of being starved, starved almost to death for greenness and warmth, flowers and birds, in spite of the deadness of endless classrooms, shopping centres, television shows, in spite of the pains in the gut, the migraines, the wakings, the palpitations, in spite of a guilty knowledge of laziness, of failure to meet some obligations, in spite of all these things, and more, I have to report that the moon tonight is filling the house with a wild blueness, my children grow, excel, are healthy, my wife is gentle, there are friends, and once in a while a poem will come. In spite of the fact that it’s twenty below, tonight I smile. Summer bursts inside me.
Keillor, Garrison. “The Writer’s Almanac.” Calgary 2 a.m. http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2006/03/18 (3 June, 2014)
Circular Saws Alberta Distance Learning Centre
Circular Saws by Fred Cogswell When the circular saw chewed up my fingernail I said to myself “This is a bad dream and I shall wake up” but I didn’t and in a few minutes the pain began after that, I had a scar to remind me not to go near circular saws but I soon found they had ways of disguising themselves so that watch as I might they were always hurting me now inside and out I am covered with scars but that is not the worst I’ve learned the worst thing is that under the masks I wear and without intending to be I am a circular saw Cogswell, Fred. “Circular Saws.” Imprints 12. Ed. Kathy Evans, Lori Farren, Janet Hannaford, Stuart Poyntz, Jim
Robson, and Dom Saliani. Toronto: Gagelearning, 2002. 249. Print.
First Practice By Gary Gildner
After the doctor checked to see we weren’t ruptured, the man with the short cigar took us under the grade school, where we went in case of attack or storm, and said he was Clifford Hill, he was a man who believed dogs ate dogs, he had once killed for his country, and if there were any girls present for them to leave now. No one left. OK, he said, he said, I take that to mean you are hungry men who hate to lose as much as I do. OK. Then he made two lines of us facing each other, and across the way, he said, is the man you hate most in the world, and if we are to win that title I want to see how. But I don’t want to see any marks when you’re dressed, he said. He said, Now.
“One Poet’s Notes”. First Practice. http://edwardbyrne.blogspot.ca/2007/10/gary-gildner-first-practice.html (3 June 2104)
In School-days by John Greenleaf Whittier
Still sits the school-house by the road, A ragged beggar sleeping; Around it still the sumachs grow, And blackberry-vines are creeping. Within, the master’s desk is seen, Deep scarred by raps official; The warping floor, the battered seats, The jack-knife’s carved initial; The charcoal frescoes on its wall; Its door’s worn sill, betraying The feet that, creeping slow to school, Went storming out to playing! Long years ago a winter sun Shone over it at setting; Lit up its western window-panes, And low eaves’ icy fretting. It touched the tangled golden curls, And brown eyes full of grieving, Of one who still her steps delayed When all the school were leaving. For near her stood the little boy Her childish favor singled: His cap pulled low upon a face Where pride and shame were mingled. Pushing with restless feet the snow To right and left, he lingered;— As restlessly her tiny hands The blue-checked apron fingered. He saw her lift her eyes; he felt
The soft hand’s light caressing, And heard the tremble of her voice, As if a fault confessing. “I'm sorry that I spelt the word: I hate to go above you, Because,” —the brown eyes lower fell,— “Because, you see, I love you!” Still memory to a gray-haired man That sweet child-face is showing. Dear girl! the grasses on her grave Have forty years been growing! He lives to learn, in life's hard school, How few who pass above him Lament their triumph and his loss, Like her, because they love him.
Whittier, John Greenleaf “In School-days.” Poetry Foundation https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45487/in-school-days (3 June, 2014)
On the Value of Fantasies by Elizabeth Brewster The teacher on the morning radio program disapproves because her girl students have such unrealistic fantasies. They all think they will go to college, marry a lawyer or a professor, have two kids and two cars, and live happily ever after. And she gets them to play a game in which Linda becomes a widow at fifty, Paulette is deserted at thirty-five and has to bring up four kids on a steno’s salary1, and poor Jennifer never marries at all. How will they cope? Of course it’s a matter of one fantasy against another; and sometimes it’s fun to imagine oneself bearing up against adversity. Myself, though, I agree with the kids that it’s rather a dumb game. It’s true, life is full of these dirty tricks, but being prepared for the worst may make it happen. (More might be said for fantasizing about space travel or maybe about being a mermaid.) I still hope (two months before my fifty-third birthday) that I may yet meet that handsome stranger all the fortunetellers have told me about; that sometime my lottery ticket will win a tax-free fortune, and that my poems become household words and make the next edition of Colombo’s Quotations2. I might as well believe in heaven, too, for all the good it will do me to admit statistics are against it.
1steno’s salary: stenographer’s; a stenographer transcribes speech using shorthand writing 2 Colombo’s Quotations: a reference work containing quotations by notable Canadians, edited by John Robert Colombo.
Brewster, Elizabeth. “On the Value of Fantasies.” Imprints 12. Ed. Kathy Evans, Lori
Farren, Janet Hannaford, Stuart Poyntz, Jim Robson, and Dom Saliani. Toronto. Gage Learning, 2002. 184. Print.
The Layers Alberta Distance Learning Centre
The Layers by Stanley Kunitz
I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, over which scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings. Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections, and my tribe is scattered! How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road precious to me. In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me:
“Live in the layers,
The Layers Alberta Distance Learning Centre
not on the litter.” Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes.
Kunitz, Stanley. “The Layers.” Imprints 12 (Vol. I). Ed. Lori Farren, David Friend, Jim Robson, and Dom Saliani. Toronto: gagelearning, 2002. 189. Print.
To Be of Use Alberta Distance Learning Centre
To Be of Use by Marge Piercy The people I love the best jump into work head first without dallying in the shallows and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight. They seem to become natives of that element, the black sleek heads of seals bouncing like half-submerged balls. I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart, who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience, who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward, who do what has to be done, again and again. I want to be with people who submerge in the task, who go into the fields to harvest and work in a row and pass the bags along, who are not parlor generals1 and field deserters 2 but move in a common rhythm when the food must come in or the fire be put out. The work of the world is common as mud. Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust. But the thing worth doing well done has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident. Greek amphoras3 for wine or oil, Hopi4 vases that held corn, are put in museums but you know they were made to be used. The pitcher cries for water to carry and a person for work that is real. Piercy, Marge. “ To Be of Use.” Imprints 12. Ed. Kathy Evans, Lori Farren, Janet Hannaford, Stuart Poyntz, Jim
Robson, and Dom Saliani. Toronto: Gagelearning, 2002. 223. Print.
1 parlor generals: generals who avoid the battlefield 2 field deserters: soldiers who flee during battle 3 amphoras: two-handled jars 4 Hopi: Aboriginal people of northeast Arizona
Young Soul Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)
First, feel, then feel, then read, or read, then feel, then fall, or stand, where you already are. Think of your self, and the other selves . . . think of your parents, your mothers and sisters, your bentslick father, then feel, or fall, on your knees if nothing else will move you,
then read and look deeply into all matters come close to you city boys – country men
Make some muscle in your head, but use the muscle in yr heart
Baraka, Amiri. “Young Soul.” Imprints 12 (Vol. I). Ed. Lori Farren, David Friend, Jim Robson, and Dom Saliani. Toronto: gagelearning, 2002. 189. Print.
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