Poetry Everywhere

Expand/Collapse Poetry Everywhere


Explore the power of language, look at the world with a fresh sense of wonder, and build reading and writing skills. These video segments, drawn from the PBS Poetry Everywhere series, capture some of the voices of poetry, past and present.

  • Blackbottom, by Toi Derricotte

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Toi Derricotte reads her poem, “Blackbottom”, which describes a black American family’s drive through their old, segregated neighborhood, left behind when they moved to the suburbs.
    Grades: 9-12
  • Aunties, by Kevin Young

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Kevin Young reads his poem, "Aunties", in which he gives life to memories steeped in the Deep South.
    Grades: 7-12
  • American Wedding, by Joseph Millar

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Joseph Millar reads his poem, “American Wedding”, in which he feels the significance of embarking on a marriage as he heads to his daughter’s wedding reception.
    Grades: 7-12
  • Brian, Age 7, by Mark Doty

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Mark Doty reads his poem, "Brian, Age 7", which was inspired by a drawing taped to a drugstore window.
    Grades: 7-12
  • Tornado Child, by Kwame Dawes

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Kwame Dawes reads his poem “Tornado Child,” a physical and spiritual description of a woman who bears the power and pays the price of being a force of nature.
    Grades: 7-12
  • The Floral Apron, by Marilyn Chin

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Marilyn Chin reads her poem “The Floral Apron”, which describes an old woman teaching young girls traditional Chinese cooking in their new home in America.
    Grades: 7-12
  • A Partial History of My Stupidity, by Edward Hirsch

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Edward Hirsch reads his poem "A Partial History of My Stupidity," in which the narrator of the poem having "rushed out into the evening”, as he does “most nights”, finds himself wrestling with his demons.
    Grades: 7-12
  • Why Are Your Poems So Dark?, by Linda Pastan

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Linda Pastan reads her poem "Why Are Your Poems So Dark?," in which the poet re-examines the meaning of the word "dark" and the connotations it evokes.
    Grades: 7-12
  • Stone, by Charles Simic

    Can a simple stone inspire human yearning? In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Charles Simic considers the appeal of this inanimate object as he reads his poem "Stone."
    Grades: 7-12
  • Selected Haiku by Issa

    Learn more about the Japanese form of poetry known as haiku. In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, the poet Robert Hass reads a short collection of amusing, often ironic haiku by Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa.
    Grades: 7-12
  • The Wild Old Wicked Man, by William Butler Yeats

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, jazz musician Wynton Marsalis reads the poem "The Wild Old Wicked Man" by William Butler Yeats, in which Yeats looks at life, death and love through the eyes of an old man.
    Grades: 9-12
  • I started Early—Took my Dog, by Emily Dickinson

    See an animated version of Emily Dickinson's poem "I started Early—Took my Dog." This video segment from Poetry Everywhere uses animation to illustrate Dickinson's poem about the sea.
    Grades: 7-12
  • A Passage to India, by Walt Whitman

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, the playwright Tony Kushner reads an excerpt from "A Passage to India," celebrating the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal and the opportunity it presented to connect civilizations.
    Grades: 9-12
  • Facing It, by Yusef Komunyakaa

    See the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial wall in Washington D.C. through the eyes of war veteran and contemporary poet Yusef Komunyakaa. In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Komunyakaa reads his poem "Facing It."
    Grades: 7-12
  • won't you celebrate with me, by Lucille Clifton

    Explore themes of identity, race, and gender as contemporary poet Lucille Clifton reads her poem, “won’t you celebrate with me” in this video segment from Poetry Everywhere.
    Grades: 7-12
  • The Dancing, by Gerald Stern

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Gerald Stern reads his poem, "The Dancing", which moves from pleasant memories of the poet’s childhood to the horror of World War II.
    Grades: 7-12
  • Success, by Ted Kooser

    In this video segment from Poetry Everywhere, Ted Kooser reads his poem, “Success”, which is an answer to those friends who wonder how he deals with his sudden fame as a poet.
    Grades: 7-12