So, this poem is not in spanish nor has it anything to do with cinco de mayo, but I hope you enjoy it anyway and I hope you can see the reverence and appreciation I have for my poetry professor. I am not a teacher in case you are wondering, it's just a story.
Today we are going to study the poet Robert-
'Frost' came a loud shout from the back of the room.
'No, not Robert Frost' I snapped back.
'Johnny, raise your hand before you speak.'
A hand shot up, wailing, 'Oh, oh!'
'Yes Mary, what is it?'
'We will study Robert Lowell, oh how I love "For the Union Dead.'"
'No Mary, not Robert Lowell. We will study Robert-'
'Yes Peter, he was my teacher.'
'But teacher, I have to go to the bathroom.'
'Oh, go on Peter.'
Without hesitation, for fear of another interruption,
I stated matter-of-factly, 'Robert Hass.'
I looked around the room, those eighth grade eyes on me and my every word.
'Today we are going to study the poet Robert Hass.'
Johnny's hand shot up immediately after I spoke.
'Who is Robert Hass?'
The question resounded in my mind over and over.
'Well, who is Robert Hass,' I thought to myself.
He's a poet, a professor; no, those are too generic.
He's a true teacher- What does that mean?
I mean he really loves teaching, he loves to teach,
But best of all he loves his students.
His eyes light up when someone sees something, and that meant something to that Someone who saw that something.
My interior monologue went on until I was brought out of my mind,
Back to my class.
Johnny had shouted, 'So teacher who's this Robert Hass?'
So, I began to tell them a story about a young girl.
Her second year in college at Cal Berkeley she took American Poetry.
And she had this professor for whom she had great admiration.
He cared, he listened, he wanted to help.
And he did help. He got her to read poets that affected her life.
She may have never read them.
The professor got her to write poetry again, a requirement in the class.
Most importantly, the professor gave her the idea of becoming a teacher.
She wanted to give back to others what her professor had given to her.
'And so class, that is why I am here today, as your teacher.
I was that young college girl and,
Robert Hass was that professor of American Poetry that year.
That's who Robert Hass is.
Open your books to page 35.'
Copyright ©2009 Diana Marie Smith