Apple Poem

claes oldenberg

Teacher’s Apple


Around the old wooden cafeteria tables,

Reassembled and sanded for seminar use,

We sit together to sort through the world,

Such as it is, with an old man’s broken wisdom

And your vital beauty.


We are privileged in this graceful school,

A single tuition exceeding a teacher’s annual salary.

With a year ahead of us there would seem to be

Time enough to glimpse the mystery

At the bottom of the sacred lake.


But then we are so busy giving birth

And distracted by wires and lights.


Quick now, there now,

Round the corner, through the gate,

The arbor, near the orchard, by the stump,

Below the granite ledge,

Look see quick now, there now.


We talk, we read, we write, we argue, we snack

Around the old maple tables.

There is a joy here, an approximation, an approach

An emerging hope.


Today, after class, I find a student

has left gnawed to satiety

an apple core

on the table.


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Comments 9 comments

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

The core curriculum. Nice poem. Not a totally happy picture.


debugs profile image

debugs 7 years ago from Odessey777, Umbris

@Ralph.. you're witty!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago

Thanks! I accept the compliment.


streep 7 years ago

sounds like a very grim place. I think maybe teacher needs a new job. very evocative poem.


Carey Cameron 7 years ago

Good to be reading your poems again! Love, Carey


Cris A profile image

Cris A 6 years ago from Manila, Philippines

the apple taken out of its usual context. great read as always :D


Iðunn 6 years ago

excellent use of words, images and form to create the contrast of the peacefulness of wisdom with the excited and sometimes distracted seeking thereof.

nicely done.


R. W. 6 years ago

I was looking for the words to the song An Apple for the Teacher. Could not find on google, yahoo, or amazon. Can you help?


barranca profile image

barranca 6 years ago Author

R.W., Sorry, Not familiar with it.

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