Not sure this is a great idea, but I’ve resolved to begin each class session this term with a poem read aloud. Since I teach business law, this is rather a strange thing (you should have seen the looks I got on the first day), but my instincts say it’s good for them. I’ve brought all my poetry books to the office (was pretty amazed by how many I had), and I’m taking other poems off the Web as necessary.
I only have a few minutes at the start of class to do this, so I can’t be goin’ into epics or Four Quartets or anything like that. Each class meets 20 times during the term. The first day I gave ’em "Ozymandias," which I can recite from memory. The second day it was Edgar Lee Masters’s "Herman Altman," which wasn’t ideal, but I wanted to read something about "truth."
So: anyone have any suggestions for poems to read aloud? Sad, insirational, moody, optimistic, whatever. (But not sexy, please — I’m a male professor, and we can’t be giving people opportunities to claim harrassment…) No fair nominating your own stuff, but if you want to nominate your friends’ (and I can get their permission), great!