Today by the numbers.

Minutes it took to go to the grocery store so I could buy salsa so I can make black bean cakes: 11 (On one hand, not that long. On the other, I am so hungry, they’d better be the best black bean cakes known to man.)

Mosaics that I made that just need to be grouted: 1 (It was a very therapeutic way to spend my time after school. Making art. Or something close to art.)

Minutes I actually sat down and ate lunch: 4 or 5 (Too busy passing out poems!)

Nerves this morning about Poem in Your Pocket Day: Does this thing go to 11? Okay, I’ll say 11.

Number of students, staff, and faculty who brought me poems today: 339 (THREE HUNDRED THIRTY-NINE! Y’ALL!! My secret goal was 300, and there were two classes that were going to come that ended up falling through because the teacher got sick. With them, I would have been close to 400!)

Number of poems written by the person who gave them to me: 150

Times I read selections from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” out loud: 15-20 (The kids were less interested in my poem than I thought they would be, but when I read to them, I usually got good response. Also, I told them I picked that poem because I think disturbing the universe and speaking your truth and asking difficult questions is what poetry is about. And they liked that.)

People who seemed disappointed with the poem/candy prize: maybe 1

And this is not a number, but one of the students who has tested my patience the most this year brought me a poem (The Tiger by William Blake, if you were wondering), and I gave him a laminated Shel Silverstein poem in return. At the end of the day, he came up to me and said, “I read that poem you gave me, and it’s really funny.” That is, honestly, the best interaction we’ve had all year. Thank you, Poem in Your Pocket Day, from the bottom of my heart. I can’t wait for next year.

ETA: I feel guilty not including a poem in this post. So here is a poem for the end of National Poetry Month. It’s by Walt Whitman, and if I had only given out one poem today instead of dozens of different ones, this is what I would have given, if only because of the last line.

As I Walk These Broad Majestic Days by Walt Whitman

As I walk these broad majestic days of peace,
(For the war, the struggle of blood finish’d, wherein, O terrific Ideal,
Against vast odds erewhile having gloriously won,
Now thou stridest on, yet perhaps in time toward denser wars,
Perhaps to engage in time in still more dreadful contests, dangers,
Longer campaigns and crises, labors beyond all others,)
Around me I hear that eclat of the world, politics, produce,
The announcements of recognized things, science,
The approved growth of cities and the spread of inventions.

I see the ships, (they will last a few years,)
The vast factories with their foremen and workmen,
And hear the indorsement of all, and do not object to it.

But I too announce solid things,
Science, ships, politics, cities, factories, are not nothing,
Like a grand procession to music of distant bugles pouring,
triumphantly moving, and grander heaving in sight,
They stand for realities—all is as it should be.

Then my realities;
What else is so real as mine?
Libertad and the divine average, freedom to every slave on the face of the earth,
The rapt promises and luminé of seers, the spiritual world, these centuries-lasting songs,
And our visions, the visions of poets, the most solid announcements of any.

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  1. […] Through a Glass, Darkly » Today by the numbers. Moreover because a bratty child should love "The Tyger", being as it is about innocence and experience, etc. If he'd brought "The Lamb", Kari should have laughed in his face. (tags: gfmorris_comment) […]

  2. […] cheating here: I’m posting this online, and I keep my iPhone in my pocket. Lame, I know. Kari is my inspiration for participating. Thanks, Kari. Loosely drawn from dialogue in Dead Poets Society: Uh, I-I close my eyes. Uh, and […]