If you’ve never carried a poem in your pocket before, now is a good time to start.
April 26th is National Poem in Your Pocket Day. It’s pretty self-explanatory--you copy down a poem and carry it in your pocket all day. Simple, right?
I’ve asked people in and around the Piper Center (the headquarters for HFR) to share the poems they plan on carrying on PIYPD, and the reasoning behind their choice. So for the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at the poems staff, interns, MFA students and general float-arounders hold close.
Today's poem is from Peter Turchi, Director of both the Piper House and the Creative Writing Program at ASU.
He chose "You Go to School to Learn" by Thomas Lux, and says, "The poem I'll be carrying this year--the poem I was carrying a copy of today, until I gave it to someone--is Thomas Lux's "You Go to School to Learn." Like a lot of Lux's poems, it is both straightforward and surprising, written in clear colloquial language, and humorous; and it carries a deceptively strong critique. In this case, Lux begins with the assertion "You go to school to learn to/ read and add, to someday/ make some money," makes a turn with "But:/ You're taught away from poetry/ or, say, dancing (That's nice, dear,/ but there's no dough in it)" and ends "It's true,/ and so, every morning--it's still dark!--/ you see them, the children, like angels/ being marched off to execution,/ or banks. Their bodies luminous/ in headlights. Going to school." It's a good reminder of the fate that awaits us when we forget the true goals of education."
Read the poem, which is encouraging as we enter the end of the semester grind, it its entirety here. Thanks, Pete!