I give my students packets of poems
With the publication data: cover pages, copyright, pages with the
Poems printed off the Internet too,
With URLs and website info and even where
They were first printed.
And they studiously flip the pages, scouring them
For every tidbit of information they need to create
A Works Cited page–properly formatted and informationally complete.
And when they finish, they put their heads down
On the desks, exhausted, and bored. Some
Stare off into space; others twiddle their thumbs, waiting
For the packets to be collected. So they can do something else:
Read a book, doodle a drawing, study for the next final exam.
What they do not do,
What they do not even think to do,
Is read the poems.