Photo of the Day Poems: The Lesson #Poem #Poetry #Photography #Homer #Epic #Lesson #Protest

As the school year draws to a close, it admittedly becomes more challenging to plan engaging lessons to rein in the drifting minds of students who smell the fresh-cut grass and can only imagine the summer days stretching out before them. (Admittedly, I TOO feel the same way!) We always talk about the Three Rs of lesson planning: Rigor, Relationship, and Relevancy. Ideally, our classes draw in the students through lessons that are relevant. Then, because of the the relationship we’ve built with them throughout the year, they are more willing to engage the rigor of the lesson, and amazing discussions and epiphanies take place.

Here, striking students and teachers in Athens got me thinking about Homer and what he would see in this confrontation. Is this the stuff of epics, another reminder of the continuing struggle of good versus evil, or just a chance to blow off steam in a temporary diversion from the monotony of classrooms?

The Lesson

by Vincent H. Anastasi 2019

This is a lesson they won’t soon forget:
red flags in a non-existent wind,
no surrender,
gas masks and cellphones,
water bottle grenade soaring
over police barricades
stemming a tide of people
no longer content
to be flies to wanton boys.

Would Homer see in these faces
the Greeks swarming the Trojan Wall,
see Paris in single-combat with Menelaus,
hear Achilles roar in resplendent rage,
the dust of his chariot hanging in the air

or merely a few hours disruption,
the traffic inconveniently diverted,
and the unmitigated education of tear gas?

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