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Flower for a Teacher
Edwin Romond

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.

Edwin Romond  is a poet, playwright, and composer. Now retired, he taught English for more than 30 years in Wisconsin and New Jersey. Edwin's award-winning work has appeared in numerous literary journals, college text books, and anthologies, and has been featured on National Public Radio. His newest collection, Man at the Railing, from NYQ Books, recently won the Laura Boss Narrative Poetry Award. A native of Woodbridge, New Jersey, Edwin now lives in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, with his wife. Learn more about him at



Post New Comment:
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
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
Wonderful tribute to a teacher!
Posted 05/06/2014 08:34 AM
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
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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