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Flower for a Teacher
by
Edwin Romond


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in Memory of Father Carlton Paul Brick, S.D.S. (1935-2013)
 
I’m here to place a rose in this room
where he taught my sophomore English class.
I want to leave a tiny flower with a mighty beauty
to honor a teacher who never threatened us, never
got in our faces but did get in our hearts. He taught us
the tragic soul of Death of a Salesman, introduced
us to Laura in The Glass Menagerie, to Holden
 
in Catcher in the Rye, and opened the door to poetry
in all its splendor and truth. And we learned
how to write because of all his hours of giving
our words on loose leaf his scholarly attention.
He didn’t yell, he didn’t insult us, he was demanding
but never demeaning and he never let the specter
of the S.A.T. get in the way of authentic learning.
 
So I’ve come to this room 50 years later to thank
with a flower the soft spoken priest who asked
almost as much of us as he did of himself and
gave me the model of English teaching excellence
I could only strive for but never attain.
I leave a rose here in memory of Father Carlton,
who stirred in me a passion for literature and writing,

who every day in this classroom quietly changed my life.

© by Edwin Romond.
Used with the author's permission.

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Edwin Romond  is a poet, playwright, composer, and educator. Now retired, he taught English for 32 years in Wisconsin and New Jersey.  His award-winning work has appeared in numerous literary journals, college text books and anthologies (including these shown here), and has been featured on National Public Radio. Edwin maintains an active schedule of readings and presentations (check www.edwinromond.com to see if he's appearing anywhere in your area) and his most recent book is Dream Teaching (Grayson Books). A native of Woodbridge, NJ, Edwin now lives in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, with his wife and son.

 


New comments are closed for now.
jtmilford:
Beautiful poem about a beautiful teacher and beautifully written by Edwin Romond.
Posted 05/06/2014 07:49 PM
Mary Lou Taylor:
For me it was a college professor who taught us with a mixture of sternness and flexibility and a dash of humor to lighten our load. She was clever and so knowledgable. I still smile at what she had to say when a student couldn't understand a poem. Always that humorous touch. When one said he had seen "Romeo and Juliet" at a drive-in theater and didn't think it was all that good, she said, "Perhaps, Mr. Kline, you were otherwise engaged."
Posted 05/06/2014 03:36 PM
TheSilverOne:
We all need that someone in our lives who treated us with dignity, and who we never forget.
Posted 05/06/2014 12:17 PM
Ross Kightly:
For me he was a tough-minded, fair-minded Scot, called Don McLean, in a country high school in 1950s Victoria and the characters included the Whisky Priest in 'The Power and the Glory', the Reddleman in 'The Return of the Native' and many others. Same tribute is due, Edwin, so thank you for this re-reminder of how much I owe.
Posted 05/06/2014 11:05 AM
erinsnana:
Wonderful tribute to a teacher!
Posted 05/06/2014 08:34 AM
Pat:
I love "never got in our faces, but did get in our hearts." I"m sure you did in fact achieve that level of teaching excellence, Ed. Beautiful poem and wonderful last line.
Posted 05/06/2014 08:01 AM
paradea:
I agree, Phebe.
Posted 05/06/2014 07:22 AM
phebe.davidson@gmail.com:
This is one of the best tributes I've seen, and a perfect choice for YDP.
Posted 05/06/2014 05:44 AM


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