Tuesday, September 04, 2012

A Pair of Back-to-School Poems

by Kay Ryan

Crow school
is basic and
short as a rule—
just the rudiments
of quid pro crow
for most students.
Then each lives out
his unenlightened
span, adding his
bit of blight
to the collected
history of pushing out
the sweeter species;
briefly swaggering the
swagger of his
aggravating ancestors
down my street.
And every time
I like him
when we meet.
(The Best of It, Grove: New York, 2010, p. 225)

by Stevie Smith

Let all the little poets be gathered together in classes
And let prizes be given to them by the Prize Asses
And let them be sure to call all the little poets young
And worse follow what's bad begun
But do not expect the Muse to attend this school
Why look already how far off she has flown, she is no fool.

(Collected Poems, New Directions: New York, 1983, p. 269)

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