Monday, April 20, 2009

Jane Yolen - My Teacher

My Teacher
Jane Yolen

My teacher's tall,
My teacher's small,
My teacher's white,
Black, tan.
My teacher is a woman,
My teacher is a man.

My teacher's thin,
My teacher's fat,
My teacher's in-between.
My teacher's always very nice.
Sometimes my teacher's mean.

My teacher has a quiet voice,
My teacher's voice is loud
And you can hear her speaking out
Above the wildest crowd.

My teacher is a riot.
My teacher never smiles.
My teacher lives right near the school.
My teacher travels miles.

My teacher's younger than my mom.
My teacher's very old.
My teacher's hands are nice and warm.
My teacher's hands are cold.

But when I'm feeling lonely, scared,
Or having a bad day
I take my teacher's hand and then
Those feelings go away.

©2009 Jane Yolen. All rights reserved.

Jane Yolen has written poetry, picture books, short stories and novels and has written for young children, teens, and adults. She's won awards and fans no matter what genre or age group she writes for... and, yes, she has around 300 books to her name. That. Is. A. Lot! Her secret, besides remarkable talent, is one all writers should heed - butt in chair. Truer words never were spoken, as if you don't write the book, you surely won't publish it.

Credits and awards aside, I just love Jane Yolen's poetry. Her poems are honest and clear and can be funny and touching and insightful and whimsical and a list far longer than this post has space to contain. She's never afraid to say what she wants to say and knows so well how to say it in a way that kids (and adults!) can relate to. I think My Teacher is a wonderful example of how she takes a simple idea and makes a poem that's so rich and full of things to think about... or just there to enjoy. Beyond all the writing skill, Jane Yolen is also mentor to so many and a strong advocate for children's writers everywhere, so it's truly and honor and pleasure for me to have a poem of hers here on 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday we had Arnold Adoff's n o   justice   n o p e a c e. Tomorrow... I Went to the Farm Where Spaghetti Is Grown by Greg Pincus.


Laurie said...

I love Jane Yolen too!

laurasalas said...

Terrific poem!

Jane Yolen is such an inspiration--I got to hear her speak and read poetry a couple of weeks ago. Not only is her poetry wonderful, but the anthologies she has put together with her son's photography are fantastic. Once Upon Ice is my favorite.

Thanks for featuring her. It's hard to imagine a writer with more range.

tanita✿davis said...

Aww. I want a teacher now, too.
I love Lady Jane's poetry -- it's so funny, I read her books in school but now it's her poetry that is really hitting me.

Motivational Poems, Quotes and Prayers said...

Nice teacher poem! thanks for sharing

Sarah Stevenson said...

Another wonderful, inspirational poem by Jane Yolen! Thank you to Ms. Jane and thanks, Greg!

BookChook said...

This is such a great tribute to teachers. In a time when it's all too easy to point out the negatives, we really need inspiration like this!

Kelly Polark said...

I own so many of Jane Yolen's books. Love her!

Unknown said...

Jane Yolen is one of those authors who writes all things for all people. Amazing.

I loved this poem. One of my favorites so far.