Friday, February 23, 2007

A Poem from Pontoon 9 by Claire Gearen

In honor of spring, and the fact that Floating Bridge Press editors believe strongly in showcasing the work of Washington State poets, we've decided to showcase one of our poets from the most recent Pontoon 9, available from our website.

To Sophomores Reading Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself"

Yes. He writes long lines. And they don't rhyme.
The poem is fifty pages long. That's true.
At one point, he calls the scent of B.O. — Ew!
his own B.O. — finer than prayer. I'm
aware of this. And I know about his
strange capacity to love everyone:
woman, child, men. In bathing, splashing fun
twenty-eight hold his eyes a long time. Quiz:

who else has given you permission
to be your whole self, unhindered
by school, by work, by tradition, by din
of people eager to rein you in the heard?

He says, "Unscrew the locks from their doors. Unscrew
the doors themselves from their jambs," about you.

Claire Gearen teaches, writes, and paddles canoes around Lake Union. With students from Kenya, Sudan, Taiwan, and Burma as well as Laurelhurst and Beacon Hill, she enjoys traveling the world in the classrooms of Seattle Public Schools.


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