_ New York City poet Todd Friedman, a retired high school teacher,
observes the silent censorship that aims to protect pupils from
themselves or perhaps from the facts of life. _
By Todd Friedman
I saw you in the anthology, Walt,
“rude, unbending, lusty,”
and there you were
a live-oak growing
right there in the middle
of the high school classroom.
And I imagined the person
who picked your poem
laughing into his hand
and slapping his thigh!
But the best part was in the instructions
on the side of the page:
“Write about something in nature that
reminds you of yourself and your friends.
Use sensory details.”
A year later they put out a new edition
and the poem was gone.
Use sensory details.
Todd Friedman is a retired NYC high school English teacher who
fought three major battles against the Department of Education. An
arbitration decision is named after him and he won a New York Library
Association award for standing up against censorship. His poems have
been published in _Jewish Currents, Tikkun, Midstream, Poetica, Jewish
Literary Journal, Brooklyn Eagle, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal,
_and _English Journal._