PUBLIC POETRY PROJECT
A celebration of poems to the people
Once When I Was in the Eighth Grade
By Maurice Kilwein Guevara
Maurice Kilwein Guevara’s “Once When I Was in the Eighth Grade” captures that moment school children yearn for, the withering answer. In this case, the image is so striking, otherworldly and tragic, that the window becomes the domain of the speaker, and the act of witnessing something great.
Fire in the Onion Field
By Deborah Burnham
Deborah Burnham’s vivid and searing depiction, “Fire in the Onion Field,” focuses a disastrous event on the death of a mole. But the mole does not understand what happens to him and, in the poem’s closing moment, swims across the sun—a metaphor for transcendence.
Two honorable mention poems were also selected: "Song of the Seeing Eye Dog" by Alyce Wilson and "Sometimes I Dream of Freeways" by Anna Manahan Bowman.