Monday, April 11, 2011



Your voice is meaningful already.
I write on the words you’ve typed

because I want to hear you.
Your phrasing is awkward here

because speaking about your own
observations is uncomfortable.

What is it you want to say about
this topic. Why is it significant

to you. Here is your own language,
you can compress it and craft

small castles, or you can kick it
apart into shrapnel, crumbs.

Language has its claws in how
we feel. We try so hard not

to say something, not to feel it,
and train it to grow stronger.

A student said to me, accidentally,
I mean, I’m so angry all the time.

I understand him. There was a good
old days we can never be a part of,

no one can because it did not happen.
Nowadays, in today’s fast-paced

world, this is how students begin
essays, trying to slow experience down,

grabbing at anything around them
and feeding it into Microsoft Word.

What is in you that this life needs.
Untangle your anger to find it. Respond.


  1. I enjoyed the read, but by a long way the final verse was the best.

  2. I like the dual meanings in this poem; not only the perspective on how we try to express ourselves but also the need to get out what we are made of. Our words often fail us.

    I, too, especially like your concluding couplet. It beautifully brings into focus the seeking and its object.

  3. "I write on the words you've typed because I want to hear you."

    You must be a very good teacher Hannah.

  4. I love how this gives us a glimpse at both Hannah the artist/poet and Hannah the teacher. And the point that poetry doesn't have to be perfect or strong or the best. Only truth matters. Only our voices. You rock, again and again!

  5. This is an excellent poem and useful too, making the reader really think about how they listen and how they compose their own poetry

  6. This one could have popped into your post on finding inspiration, particularly as you appear in both in two roles!

    And if I didn't say so properly, thanks for all that thoughtfulness. It got a lot of hits, too.

  7. "Here is your own language,
    you can compress it and craft

    small castles, or you can kick it
    apart into shrapnel, crumbs."

    These lines alone could be their own poem. (I just tweeted them, btw!)

    Well done, Hannah.


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