I WAS A TEACHER ONCE by Michael H. Brownstein

Here is the seventh offering from Ten Pages Press, one for the teachers: I Was a Teacher Once & Other Philosophies by Michael H. Brownstein.


We wonder what is in the water. Sugar,
Cookies, ripe persimmons, cotton
Candy. We know it is not any of these.
Some things are valued less.
Everything is always that simple.

7 responses to “I WAS A TEACHER ONCE by Michael H. Brownstein

  1. Uh, why is this poetry? It reads like artsy-fartsy shit. IMHO.

    It looks to me like one-bun (for which read: half-assed) observations, written in weird line-breaks.

    I want to ask you a serious question. If you don’t address the question, I have my answer.

    Question: What’s wrong with the structure of Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson, E A Robinson?

    Honest answer? I await it.

    You want to flame me? You have proven my point.

    • Poetry has evolved, like all things, over the centuries. There are those (myself included) who say Shakespeare et al read like artsy-fartsy shit.

  2. To the Toastyard–

    Poetry is a lot to different people, and your opinion is well taken. I myself cannot make heads or tails of LANGUAGE Poetry. Nor do I understand everything of Allen Ginsberg–thoiugh he does have brilliant pieces.

    Brownstein’s poetry spoke to me through its imagery–not its lack of rhyme or lack of structured formal meter. His opening poem on the train was truly brilliant to me. “Why We Teach”–now that wasn’t as good, but it worked within the theme of the book and “Death of a Student” was great if only for its use of contrast. How could you not like the sermon from the Lady of Ecuador?

    There are all kinds of poetry in the world–much of it formal and much not. These poems are not formal, but they are rich with meaning and imagery. I feel I knew him as a teacher and I feel I have a better understanding of what a teacher is.

    Thank you.

    M. Lapin

  3. I google Brownstein regularly in search of his work. He’s one of the best poets on the web today in my opinion.

    Enough said.


  4. M.–You’re correct to say the poetry is rich with images and KK, I think I too will start following Brownstein on the web.


  5. “Why we teach”
    I love this poem. It’s beautifull.

    “To offer the gift of knowledge,
    assist someone in finding an opportunity for every possibility,
    to show a tree and discover a forest,

    to find a butterfly, a rainbow,
    a prism of color, a prism to self,
    the human experience over and over and over again

    and bring it to life
    and help it develop
    and watch it grow–

    this is why we teach”.

    These words are wonderful. I’m really touched when I read your poems.
    Thank you!

    nhu trang pham

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s