Friday, November 27, 2009

Poetry Friday: My Love For All Things Warm and Breathing


I have seldom loved more than one thing at a time,
yet this morning I feel myself expanding, each
part of me soft and glandular, and under my skin
is room enough now for the loving of many things,
and all of them at once, these students especially,
not only the girl in the yellow sweater, whose
name, Laura Buxton, is somehow the girl herself,
Laura for the coy green mellowing eyes, Buxton
for all the rest, but also the simple girl in blue
on the back row, her mouth sad beyond all reasonable
inducements, and the boy with the weight problem,
his teeth at work even now on his lower lip, and
the grand profusion of hair and nails and hands and
legs and tongues and thighs and fingertips and
wrists and throats, yes, of throats especially,
throats through which passes the breath that joins
the air that enters through these ancient windows,
that exits, that takes with it my own breath, inside
this room just now my love for all things warm and
breathing, that lifts it high to scatter it fine and
enormous into the trees and the grass, into the heat
beneath the earth beneath the stone, into the
boundless lust of all things bound but gathering.

--William Kloefkorn

I've never heard teaching described so . . . erotically.

Kloefkorn pushes boundaries with this one, and I'm sure some readers might find this disturbing. As a teacher my
self, I love the different way Kloefkorn shows a teacher's passion -- not for what we teach, but for who we're teaching.

Thanks to The Writers Almanac for publishing it. Be sure to sign up for your daily dose.

"My Love For All Things Warm and Breathing" by William Kloefkorn, from Cottonwood County: Poems by William Kloefkorn and Ted Kooser. © Windflower Press, 1979.

The photo of the Tennessee classroom originated here.

This photo is by Alfred Eisenstadt.



3 comments:

Andy said...

Interesting! My initial reaction is, What a strange man. That might be my final reaction, too. I need to think on this.

Mur said...

Teachers not only see what students are, but very often envision what they might become. This poem made me feel as if Kloefkorn was looking into the future a bit.

I'm Jet . . . said...

Oooh. Interesting take on it, Mur!