When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer
When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
I recall teaching this particular poem by Walt Whitman to my tenth grade students. I stayed late the day before, so I could stick stars on the classroom ceiling. The next day, as my students filed in, they noticed my black robe and my Astrological map (onto which I had attached the poem), but they did not see the stars. After they were finally seated, I introduced Whitman and then read his poem, and at the very end, I shut the lights. All the stars twinkled and shined!! There were "ohhs" and "ahhs."
Yes, some poems can be inspiring, entertaining, and witty.
Here is one I wrote that commemorates a similar experience.
Ode to the Poet
She spoke from the interior
Of a warm library
Where a roaring fire glowed.
She spoke of yellow daffodils
And dogwood trees
Yet she never touched its folds.
She was a poet of old
Viewing through the looking glass
I swear that listening to her
Was truly a pain in the Ass.
I left the interior prison
Stepped on the dew kissed grass
I breathed the great outdoors
At last.© Natala Orobello