For this Labor Day weekend’s College Football season openers, from poetry 180; supporting teams who lost isn’t difficult, UCLA & UF. If you’re a fan, stay loyal.
from Football / by Louis Jenkins
I take the snap from the center, fake to the right, fade back…
I’ve got protection. I’ve got a receiver open downfield…
For somehow, it’s a Bishop kind of day, the kind of day when seals carry hymns to the ocean floor, from The Collected Poems.
from At the Fishhouses / by Elizabeth Bishop
Cold dark deep and absolutely clear,
element bearable to no mortal,
to fish and to seals . . . One seal particularly
I have seen here evening after evening.
He was curious about me. He was interested in music;
like me a believer in total immersion,
so I used to sing him Baptist hymns.
For gnomes and magical thinking of all kinds, from poetryfoundation.org.
from Shroud of the Gnome / by James Tate
And what amazes me is that none of our modern inventions
surprise or interest him, even a little.
For a favorite, from poets.org.
from Tulips / by Sylvia Plath
The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;
They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,
And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes
Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me.
For Back-to-School, Week #2, from a favorite poet, and from poets.org.
from Theme for English B / by Langston Hughes
It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me—who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
For the chickens near my classroom which remind me of my grandparents’ home on top of a Kentucky mountain, from Kevin’s Much-Loved Poems.
from Nostalgia/ by Billy Collins
Remember the 1340s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
For the silvers and golds of summer, from poets.org.
from Back Yard / by Carl Sandburg
Shine on, O moon of summer.
Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak,
All silver under your rain to-night.