Teachers Act Up!

Thoughts on Teaching, Language, and Social Change from Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor

My Pro-Gay Marriage Poem and plug for a new children’s book “All Kinds of Families” (on sale)

I can’t help it–this getting up while the rest of the house sleeps to unearth these poems.  This week’s assignment is to write a villanelle–how difficult could it be to write two good lines and then repeat them in all of 6 stanzas? When I’m stretching and stuck, I turn to email and see that because I am now a working mother and on-line shopper, I receive countless emails that jerk me into emergency credit card mode–supposed discounts everywhere, today only, midnight sale, buy two get one free!!! When poetry is in your system, who knows where your subconscious will take you through the thrilling exercise of the heart/mind/form.  There is so much fear-inspired hatred that cycles back and back and it seems the villanelle offers so much potential to revisit and revise.  Here’s my villanelle for the week.  I know it risks what my good teacher Ira Sadoff warns against: “moral certainty” in poems.  One doesn’t want heavy-handed rhetoric or even the word rhetoric in a good poem–but this is why I love the Steve Kowit article recently published in writers chronicle.  Most rules of thumb in poetry have been broken when “T” inner-“t”ruth calls, so here’s my go at certain uncertainty or moral crisis.  Tell me what you think good readers & fellow writers.  What might poetry do to redress these pledges to hate taken by conservative presidential hopefuls??  Oh, and this children’s book really does look good!


Ends today! Take 30% off the item of your choice!

And yet the sale never ends, there’s always more

to be discounted. “All Kinds of Families” reduced,


a lift-the-flap book for ages 4-8, loose

definitions of “parents.” Retail stores

carry the item. 30% ends today! Your choice


to buy or not to buy the rhetoric, voice

of love in its many forms or deplore

it and discount all kinds. “Families” reduced


to “one mother” – “one father.” Gay marriage a vice

some pledge against, while others ask for (MA, CT, IA, VT, NH, and NY) more:

End discrimination today! Though 30 states have banned the choice


for same-sex couples, others stonewall hate, refuse

to rebate, cut-rate their goods, repress, self-scorn.

Their kind of family is not to be discounted, reduced


to Christianity in drag, fundamentally overpriced

book burners, backordered “values,” keeping score

to be discounted. “All Kinds of Families” does not reduce,

but takes 30% off hate.  The item today? Choice!

3 responses to “My Pro-Gay Marriage Poem and plug for a new children’s book “All Kinds of Families” (on sale)

  1. Linary Wigg Kingdon September 19, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Wow, Misha!!! Great job expressing your thoughts and feelings….and stimulating my thoughts and feeling. Very insightful views; very powerful message. Even the introduction to your villanelle is highly meaningful. I admire and appreciate your openness. Linary


  2. Susan Bleyle September 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Yippee! I love your poem and am going to send your blog link right now to my sister and sister-in-law (legally married in the great state of CA), proud parents of two boys, 4 and 6.


  3. Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor September 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    ooh comments! I am so excited–thank you! Makes me feel less alone out here in webland!


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