Bring on the Poets

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned

               about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost


who defines history and who’s historical and

who gets written up in the thickest book or how

many books will bookend each other at B & N?


let’s depart from admirals and generals for a

moment saints and explorers talk about

those that give us words by which to remember them


sounds that linger on our tongue etch themselves

in blood upon our hearts stain our lips forever.

the first book of poetry I ever owned


bought for myself was thick with deckled edges:

The Complete Poems of Robert Frost, 1949 green

dust cover, with the farmer plowing the field.


having learned in elementary school the poem

I quoted most, the one that got me through the

corporate maze single parenting frenetic bouts


of night school two roads divergence decisions

not a fan of dates and places it’s enough to know

that although Frost was born in California, 1874


his work found home in England long before America

kept its promises to his keen eye honest voice precise

speech honoring his New England neighbors


when students open a history book I want them to find

biographies of men and women who give voice to our dreams

who record our sins and beg forgiveness who are noted for


shaping our world one word one sentence at a time. Don’t

call it literature or limit it to a class of English. Sing poetry

in a union speech by Chavez, find Angelou’s caged bird and


let it fly, give us new ropes by which to lift ourselves from

this often too sordid history of a world at war and take our

hymns in languages across the globe and rewrite history