Tag Archives: poems

Final Class Poem

Final Class Poem   The Five Spot by Billy Collins 

In my final class, at least for the next year as I move on to a be a writing fellow at Baruch, I talked with my students about how I hoped that rather than remember any particular facts about research methods – that they had developed a new perspective on how to approach research articles and research presented in the popular press.

On the bus ride to class I’d been reading a recent issue of The Atlantic on The Confidence GapI thought the article quite relevant as 19//20 of the students in my course were women – many of whom were quite nervous about presenting their final projects .  I questioned if they thought a confidence gap existed between genders and if this gap might contribute to differences in pay? Or perhaps the confidence gap was a symptom of other systemic factors at play?

My hope is that after working through the research methods course my students will be equipped to  grapple with, deconstruct and then take a position in relation to the research presented in The Confidence Gap and in other relevant issues and articles.

I concluded the class by reading an excerpt from a poem featured in the same Atlantic issue, The Five Spot by Billy Collins. Ever since Questions about Angels was high school’s required summer reading I’ve had negative associations with Collins, but The Five Spot seemed to speak to an element of the course and hopefully to how students might think about issues in the world as they move on with their lives. The poem summarized my hopes for myself and my students better than I could in clumsy social science terms.  And as in class instead of trying to summarize these thoughts and emotions I’ll let the poet do this work…so direct from my fridge here it is:


The Five Spot by Billy Collins

97th and Riverside this morning aka my brain

Fridge Poems to Ponder

I’ve been plugging away on my proposal – so most of my writing juice – in fact most of my time is going towards that endeavor.

This means there’s less time for fun things like reading, biking, and city seeing…Which also means less to write about.

Luckily I’m nearly done with this draft!

Until then, my brain feels like this:

97th and Riverside this morning aka my brain

What I do have time for is reading poems,  especially those from the New Yorker which are typically short, thoughtful and great for commutes, trips to the fridge or moments when you just want to ponder.

Here are three of my recent faves:

Another Lethal Party Favor

by Dean Young

Another Lethal Party Favor, by Dean Young
(Click to enlarge)
Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

by A.E. Stallings

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda by A. E. Stallings






And finally, Death of Argos got taken down, and possibly thrown away, because it was making Sand sad.

I read the Odyssey years ago in high school but this translation tells a piece of the story in a really amazing way:

Death of Argos, Translated by Stephen Mitchel