The Poet of Schools by Kip Zegers

$13.00

“His poems are the residue of moments when teacher and student have been transformed by their rendez-vous. Zegers’ poems both inspire and haunt. Be prepared.” – Burt Kimmelman

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Book Description

  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 46
  • Language: English
  • Published: June 2013
  • ISBN:  978-1-933675-97-8

Praise for Poet of Schools

The vocation of teacher may never be more intimately, more delicately and gracefully made understood than in these poems that are not so much meditations on the vacant dawn classroom come alive with the wonder of an adolescent by lunch hour; neither are they vignettes, nor tableaux presenting the scenes of a life spent teaching—what can happen in the ephemeral moment when fledgling writers “lightning bug emptiness.” The viscerally felt life—in days hard at it, in a teacher’s daily recommitment not so much to students’ learning the technique of writing but rather to their entering into the fullness of awareness and language, “as if / the person they are becoming / has arrived, using words / they will own / if all goes well”—this is what this teacher and poet is after. The real instruction of the craft, for the one who is willing to be undone by the completely unexpected on any day, takes place when “a girl’s writing razors the skin / of her life, leaving white bone open. / She does not stitch it up.” It is not craft and it is not teaching, in Zegers’ fine testaments, which grab you. His poems are the residue of moments when teacher and student have been transformed by their rendez-vous. Zegers’ poems both inspire and haunt. Be prepared. —Burt Kimmelman

An Excerpt from Poet of Schools

Kids Writing

i.
At times kids write as if
the person they are becoming
has arrived, using words
they will own
if all goes well
and they suffer the world
to open their voices.

Most times, writing as kids,
they lightning bug emptiness.
Other times they lantern
the dark they stand in.
Each On is bright,
then they Off it.

ii.
When I asked if we could print
a girl’s poem about her mom,
their fights, the war, the museum of skulls,
lost brothers, not fighting back, fighting back,
and her mother’s single tear,

she answered, “no,”
with a shrug,
and a look that dropped
a gate before whatever sentence
I’d had coming nex

About the Author

Kip ZegersKip Zegers is from Chicago, and he remains a Midwesterner, despite having lived in New York City since 1966. He was educated at John Carroll University, Northwestern University, and Union Theological Seminary. He was a Conscientious Objector (1967-69) during the Vietnam War, and has taught at Hunter College High School for 29 years. His previous poetry publications are: Backyard, (a West End Magazine edition,) 1976; Tell Me A Story, Juniper Book #39, 1981; The Street That Teaches Everything, Slow Motion Press, 1983; The Promise Is, Humana Press, 1985; The American Floor, Mayapple Press, 1996; The Landmark, Two Rivers Review Chapbook Prize, 2003; Walt’s Last Stand, Foothills Publishing, 2006; and Reading Whitman in Manhattan, Foothills Publishing, 2010.