class goal: submit at least one original poem to HIES Poetry Contest
agenda: intro (15-20′) & work time (70-75′)
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Three trees stand by my parents’ graves
Three dark, straight and tall Norwegian pines
They bend in the wind.
When they lowered my father’s body into the ground
A lightning flash of pain
Zigzaged through me.
The pain went up through my legs and out my head
And lodged in the trees.
The trees keep my grief for me, and when the wind blows,
They give it back to me.
Ann Levorson Kieffer
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves. 5
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees, 10
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination, 15
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.