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Poetry in Motion Selections for 2010

Poetry in Motion® has returned in 2010 with 8 new poems being displayed inside TriMet buses and MAX trains.

This year, 2 poems were written by Portland Public high school students from Literary Arts' Writers in the Schools program, 3 poems are by Oregon Book Awards finalists and 3 other poems were chosen by public vote.

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Til rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

“When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer” by Walt Whitman

the end

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

it was the end of something,
and so we grew sad
according to how much we'd loved it.
now, nothing
but our great variety of sadnesses
and for some
a seed of instinct suggesting
something else
may eventually begin.

“the end” by Andrew Michael Roberts, 2009 Oregon Book Award Finalist
from something has to happen next
Copyright © 2009 by Andrew Michael Roberts
Reprinted with the permission of University of Iowa Press

Snow

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

I wrap a scarf around my snowman and give him a name
so we can be formally introduced. I light a small cigar
and give it to him but he lets it die.
We talk about how high the winds are
until the hat I gave him flies off and goes tumbling
down the snow covered beach, me running after it
because my sister made it for me
and there is something about winter and sibling rivalry I can't live without.

“snow” (an excerpt) by Matthew Dickman, 2009 Oregon Book Award Winner
from All-American Poem.
Copyright © 2009 by Matthew Dickman
Reprinted with the permission of Cooper Canyon Press
www.coopercanyonpress.org

Sneaky Shoe

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

Sneaky shoe
Always hiding when I need you
Under the bed
In the messy closet
At the bottom of the couch
Always making me find you
Always making me late.

“Sneaky Shoe“ by Talisha Jackson, Franklin High School

Silenced Fantasies

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

Why is the sky so open and blue?
Free from the pull of gravity

Who is the person that replays an
Unseen movie over and over every night as I sleep?

What is that voice that I hear in my ear
When I dream of the past?

Why must sorrow haunt me
On the sixteenth of November every year?

“Silenced Fantasies“ by Billy Pham, Benson High School

Note to Niece About a Breakup

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

Outside the jewelry store with its gleam and bling bling,
a bee beats its wings against the window.
Inside: a series of fantastical flowers, silks and taffetas
bunched craftily & strung.
& although the window is unclean,
pitted with a month's worth of world-spew & debris,
the bee has seen; everything in her famished body insists the fantasy, the cold, cruel ruse is true.
& so she whips her wings with persistence
she cannot well sustain. She is hopeless, furious
& flinging ever towards the idea of it.

"A Note to a Niece About a Break Up" by Crystal Williams, 2009 Oregon Book Award Finalist
from Trouble Tongues
Copyright © 2009 by Crystal Williams
Reprinted with the permission of Lotus Press

In Spite of Everything, The Stars

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

Like a stunned piano, like a bucket
of fresh milk flung into the air
or a dozen fists of confetti
thrown hard at a bride
stepping down from the altar,
the stars surprise the sky.
Think of dazed stones
floating overhead, or an ocean
of starfish hung up to dry. Yes,
like a conductor's expectant arm
about to lift toward the chorus,
or a juggler's plates defying gravity.
or a hundred fastballs fired at once
and freezing in midair, the stars
startle the sky over the city.

"In Spite of Everything, the Stars" by Edward Hirsch
excerpt from Wild Gratitude (Alfred A. Knopf, 1986)
Copyright © 1986 by Edward Hirsch
Reprinted with the permission of the author

After Sappho

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

So many people
advised me against you.
How glad I am
we could not resist.

by Lee Ann Brown
Reprinted with the permission of Lee Ann Brown

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

“When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” by Walt Whitman

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

“the end” by Andrew Michael Roberts, 2009 Oregon Book Award Finalist
from something has to happen next
Copyright © 2009 by Andrew Michael Roberts
Reprinted with the permission of University of Iowa Press

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

“snow” (an excerpt) by Matthew Dickman, 2009 Oregon Book Award Winner
from All-American Poem.
Copyright © 2009 by Matthew Dickman
Reprinted with the permission of Cooper Canyon Press
www.coopercanyonpress.org

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

“Sneaky Shoe“ by Talisha Jackson, Franklin High School

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

“Silenced Fantasies“ by Billy Pham, Beaverton High School

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

"A Note to a Niece About a Break Up" by Crystal Williams, 2009 Oregon Book Award Finalist
from Trouble Tongues
Copyright © 2009 by Crystal Williams
Reprinted with the permission of Lotus Press

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

"In Spite of Everything, the Stars" by Edward Hirsch
excerpt from Wild Gratitude (Alfred A. Knopf, 1986)
Copyright © 1986 by Edward Hirsch
Reprinted with the permission of the author

The poem as it appears on transit vehicles

by Lee Ann Brown
Reprinted with the permission of Lee Ann Brown