I’ve never participated in Poetry Friday before. Today, though, I am doing so–because of English class! We read a poem today in my English class that I really liked, enough to share it with you all here. That’s pretty remarkable, considering how I usually hate my English class, what we read for it, and the whole idea of required reading. Without further ado, here it is, America by Tony Hoagland:

Then one of the students with blue hair and a tongue stud

Says that America is for him a maximum-security prison

Whose walls are made of RadioShacks and Burger Kings, and MTV episodes

Where you can’t tell the show from the commercials,

And as I consider how to express how full of shit I think he is,

He says that even when he’s driving to the mall in his Isuzu

Trooper with a gang of his friends, letting rap music pour over them

Like a boiling Jacuzzi full of ballpeen hammers, even then he feels

Buried alive, captured and suffocated in the folds Of the thick satin quilt of America

And I wonder if this is a legitimate category of pain, or whether he is just spin doctoring a better grade…

Read the full poem here 

You can find the Poetry Friday roundup at Mentor Texts, Read Alouds, and More.