I hear America Singing-Walt Whitman Tribute

December 20, 2008
I hear America singing in the silence of the classroom
The pencils beating out their author’s song, moving to their own familiar rhythm.
The students thinking, laughing, and learning, forming opinions, beliefs, morals, and strumming their own mind’s tune.
The hum of the wild beasts that roam from class to class in the halls, summoned to the Serengeti by a piercing tone from above. Mating calls, cries of anguish, cries of joy, and playful games fill the corridor with a din that rouses the dead.
The majority finds their way with the precision of a sniper, honing in on his target, but some straggle in as the bell sounds, lazy, rebellious, and even a little disoriented.
The master keeps the beasts at bay, but only for a little while. Within that moment, thinking occurs, and knowledge penetrates, and in the blink of an eye, it’s gone again.
The elite receive their report cards with joy, while the commoners struggle and fight against the master as he calls out their scores.
The beasts recoil at the phrases of “homework,” “test,” and “final exams,” but will suffer through them with much complaint.
The beasts look tired, beaten down and somewhat cynical.
The beasts are young, but feel old. They ache when the body tires.
The daylight brings a heavy groan, and night brings study time.
The beasts stumble under the pressure to succeed, and fear that they will fall, but when they hear that final bell, summer realizes it all.

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