Over the course of Modern Poetry, we read a number of highly ranked poems. Having been assigned the 2009 edition of Best American Poetry, we selected three that truly captured our interest. Martha Silano’s “Love,” Denise Duhamel’s “How it Will End,” and Thomas Lux’s “The Happy Majority” were the poems that we found intriguing and worthy to share. Each poem is unique in its own way, but all have the potential to be enjoyed by high schoolers here at DHS and nationally.
“Love” by Martha Silano is an opposite poem. At first glance, it seems to be a hate poem. The author truly seems to loathe the way that her husband lives, looks, and acts. Despite having so much hate within it, upon further investigation, “Love” is actually a love poem after all. To notice someone’s intricate details is nearly impossible without love. As a generation, it shows how our attitude towards love has changed. We have a deeper affection for the differences that make individuals unique.
“How It Will End” by Denise Duhamel is a great connection poem. The speaker and her husband observe and judge another couple in crisis, while ignoring their own relationship. Duhamel uses symbolism with the “Red Flag” to show the emotional currents between the couple. Many high school students are in relationships and when walking through hallways or at lunch, they can relate to the couple’s feelings.
“The Happy Majority” by Thomas Lux is an inspiring poem that challenges the reader to accomplish their goals. Lux describes his own goals and fears of joining the “happy majority” (death). He also uses different grammar styles to make the reader think. High school students would enjoy reading this poem because it discusses the future and the goals an individual hopes to accomplish. High schoolers are always thinking about what they want to do and who they want to be in the future, so this poem would definitely connect with their thoughts.