Poem: “Passive Voice,” by Laura Da’

Poem: “Passive Voice,” by Laura Da’

I use a trick to teach students how to avoid passive voice. Circle the verbs. Imagine inserting “by zombies” after each one. Have the words been claimed by the flesh-hungry undead? If so, passive voice. I wonder if these sixth graders will recollect, on summer...
Poem: ” About Suffering,” by Elisa Gabbert

Poem: ” About Suffering,” by Elisa Gabbert

Part of suffering is the useless urge to announce that you’re suffering. There is no other way to say it: I’m suffering. Just to say “I suffer” helps. I read somewhere, “we become lyrical when we suffer.” Happiness is suffering for the right reasons. First-order...
Poem: ” Words,” by Pauli Murray

Poem: ” Words,” by Pauli Murray

We are spendthrifts with words, We squander them, Toss them like pennies in the air– Arrogant words, Angry words, Cruel words, Comradely words, Shy words tiptoeing from mouth to ear. But the slowly wrought words of love and the thunderous words of heartbreak– Those we...
Poem:  “Advice to a Prophet,” by Richard Wilbur

Poem: “Advice to a Prophet,” by Richard Wilbur

When you come, as you soon must, to the streets of our city, Mad-eyed from stating the obvious, Not proclaiming our fall but begging us In God’s name to have self-pity, Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range, The long numbers that rocket the mind; Our...
Poem: ” Comfort Animal,” by Joy Ladin

Poem: ” Comfort Animal,” by Joy Ladin

From the sequence “Shekhinah Speaks” Comfort, comfort my people … —Isaiah 40:1 A voice says, “Your punishment has ended.” You never listen to that voice. You really suck at being comforted. Another voice says, “Cry.” That voice always gets your attention, keeps...