Welcome to this month’s poetry classroom, with poet and professor Todd Davis. We invite you to respond to the poems we’ll share here—their forms, images, sounds, meanings, surprises—ask questions of Todd and each other, and write your own poems along the way.
Thoreau Considers a Stone
At the center of the pond an island of ice, circumference
twenty feet smaller than the pond itself. No wind or rain
so water clears, except where the sun pushes the ice’s shadow.
This man, unsure of the pond’s depth, throws a stone,
weight puncturing its plane, the slow drift in sluggish water.
The life of a stone is lost, or, at best, ignored, but this man
returns to his hovel to record the sound a stone makes
when it pierces the frozen mask. That night he considers
how in time all masks disappear, and, with this, how all things
expand or shrink. In his sleep he dreams of light pressing down
to reveal the stone: a turtle, no longer asleep, rising toward
new air, hind claws making use of that very stone.
1. Consider a stone.
2. Which lines are your favorites and why?
3. Is there an “aha” moment for you anywhere in the poem? Put your finger on the moment.
Great Teaching or Learning Resource on How to Read a Poem