The Teachers &
Writers CollaborativeT&W consists of professional writers who work to bring poetry into public high-school classrooms, make it pertinent to the lives of the students. The three poems below were written during these sessions. They were published as part of the instruction book The Teachers & Writers Guide to Classic American Literature. T&W can be reached at
5 Union Square West
New York City 10003.There is a pain so utter
you can feel it in your bones ---
the angry words, red faces ---
children startled from their rooms.
The yells and tears and sweat
as she pushes you into the wall ---
your saliva mingles in the air
with the leftover pizza spell.
While you're down, she curses you
and what pretty words she deals.
You hear fine china breaking
with every slash you feel.
Oh, it hurts you scream in your mind,
not daring to let her hear,
because she'll bare white teeth and say
"To ache is human, my dear."---Shannon Sullivan
There is a pain
like I was locked in a cell
that only had two windows
not even a door.
The pain comes from my Father
who tells me I don't want you no more,
tells me to go ask a barely known man
will he take me.
Pain like my life in a cell
the walls coming in and crunching me
into a powdery dust.--- Will Morrisdays when
I see you, sometimes
my heart falls endlessly off a cliff inside you that suddenly stops like a
bicycle wheel, and my brain becomes beautiful in your mouth
and other times you feel
still in me
like water in books about King Arthur,
water with no edge for miles,
which makes me think I don't want you
I am not here now to love you
but then I see myself
as hollow, and search
for your water and your cliffs,
we end up nowhere completely musical
And I can't find you.--- Luc SchlossFrom The Teachers & Writers Guide to
Classic American Literature
Christopher Edgar, Gary Lenhart, Editors
©2001 Teachers & Writers Collaborative and
The Library of America