Skinner Classical School

Anthology of Student Verse
Week Fourteen: "Those Winter Sundays"
Submitted by Cate Whetzel on February 23, 2010 - 11:58am.
  With  Valentine's Day is in the rearview mirror, the students at Skinner read Robert Hayden's wonderful poem "Those Winter Sundays," a poem about the relationship of father and son, and the ways we express love--not with flowers, chocolates, or even kindness, but with our actions. Hayden's amous last lines: "What did I know, what did I know / of love's austere and lonely offices?" provided the inspiration for poems of love, sacrifice, families and friends.
       The students were asked to write a love poem of some kind, or to put two related characters in a clear setting, and make a scene--an action must be performed! In Hayden's poem, the father gets up "Sundays too" in the "blueblack cold" and lights all the fires in the house, so his family may get up and dress in warmth and comfort. There's a darker side to this poem for the speaker, as we realize when Hayden mentions "fearing the chronic angers of that house." As a result, son is indifferent and ungrateful to father, and father continues his daily routine for his family in an unhappy home, not out of joy but out of love and responsibility. I hope you'll enjoy the lovely, though not altogether light-hearted, poems that follow. Ms. Ramakrishnan's class will add their poems next week.

February 17, 2010
Mr. Lewandowski
5th Grade

The Working Man
Brandon D.

Everyday he works
on the trash, cleans
his room, and cleans

the house. I
sit there waiting
until he finishes.

When he does
I watch to see
him make a

few touches on
it until he's finally
finished. I turned

8 that week now
noticing why he
does it he

does it to
protect us
and he loves

us and he doesn't
want us to think
we can just sit

around and live
in a junky home
so I help him

day by day until
I get the chance
to tell my kids

about my Dad.

The Mystery Man
Iryna M.

Why won't you talk to me?
Why won't you say
"How was your day, Iryna?"
It doesn't matter if you're 23
You should still love me.

For I am your blood and kin.

Why do you tease me?
Am I really that annoying?
I just don't think so
I'm just curious.

But yet...
You buy me gifts
on March 8th.
You share funny jokes.

Maybe deep inside
In the dark realm of your heart
There is a small spot
For love for your little sister.

Man to Dad
Shahid M.

Oh Dad I never did
appreciate the work you
around the house

Cleaning, setting my bed,
and other chores
around the house

I should have been helping
but all I ever did was

You never complained or asked
for help because you knew
you were doing the wrong thing
to moan

I was grateful to have
you but never
acted like it.

Mrs. Rosenzweig
5th Grade

Langston H.

When Valentine's Day comes I wonder and consider.
What should I get for my grandma and mother.
My dad and I think and think.
We know they don't like purple nor pink.
We come up with a perfect decision.
We get something they can use in the kitchen.

Jermaine W.

Gleaming chrome red paint,
shiny, light headlights. Exhaust
kicking out gas.

Austere Love
Lena R.

Shoveling snow hands hard and numb,
heat draining out my body and I have
to keep going.
As I sprinkle salt, the bag tips making
the spot I spilled it on look like fresh snow
on the ground.
I spread it around, even though I don't
want to I do.
It is just austere love.