poem index

Poems about School Subjects


September 14, 2016


Poetry Roundups
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As the school year begins again, grab your pens, pencils, planners, and notebooks, and check out this selection of poems related to school. From biology to geology, phys ed to study hall—along with a few electives—these poems take on all the subjects in your class schedule for September—for students and teachers alike.


Poems for English Class

Ode to an Encyclopedia” by James Arthur
American Syntax” by Ching-In Chen
Workshop” by Billy Collins
Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes
Books” by Gerald Stern
After Reading ‘Antony and Cleopatra’” by Robert Louis Stevenson
How to Read a Poem: Beginner’s Manual” by Pamela Spiro Wagner


Poems for Social Studies Class

Poems for Economics Class

What the businessman said” by Allison Cobb
The impact of a dollar upon the heart” by Stephen Crane
The American middle class …” by Dawn Lundy Martin
More Money than God” by Richard Michelson
The World We Want Is Us” by Alice Walker

Poems for History Class

Holding Posture” by Howard Altmann
September 1, 1939” by W. H. Auden
The Fall of Rome” by W. H. Auden
A Carpapalooza: An American Anthem” by Regie Cabico
A People’s Historian” by Kenneth Carroll
Occasioned by General Washington’s Arrival in Philadelphia, on His Way to His Residence in Virginia” by Philip Freneau
On Seeing Larry Rivers’ Washington Crossing the Delaware at the Museum of Modern Art” by Frank O’Hara
American History” by Michael S. Harper
History” by Linda Hogan
The Battle Hymn of the Republic” by Julie Ward Howe
Thanks” by Yusef Komunyakaa
Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
For the Union Dead” by Robert Lowell
Pomegranate Means Grenade” by Jamaal May
In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae
Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen
On the Day of Nixon’s Funeral” by Ira Sadoff
Eastern European Cooking” by Charles Simic
Eighteenth Century Remains” by Tess Taylor
Election Day, November, 1884” by Walt Whitman
The Documents” by Terence Winch

Poems for Politics & Current Affairs Class
Praise Song for the Day” by Elizabeth Alexander
Patriotics” by David Baker
América” by Richard Blanco
One Today” by Richard Blanco
The Tradition” by Jericho Brown
America” by Robert Creeley
Everyday We Get More Illegal” by Juan Felipe Herrera
Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes
The American middle class…” by Dawn Lundy Martin
America” by Claude McKay
Gate A-4” by Naomi Shihab Nye
United” by Naomi Shihab Nye
Laundry” by Alicia Ostriker
Some Effects of Global Warming in Lackawanna County” by Jay Parini
from Citizen, I” by Claudia Rankine
Black Laws” by Roger Reeves
The Border: A Double Sonnet” by Alberto Ríos
Problem-Not-Solving” by Anne Waldman


Poems for Science Class

Poems for Biology Class

Textbook & Absence (Anatomy)” by Catherine Barnett
Evolution” by Linda Bierds
Human Atlas” by Marianne Boruch
Mostly Read the Luna Moth” by Jordan Davis
My Proteins” by Jane Hirshfield
My Skeleton” by Jane Hirshfield
Then Saw the Problem” by Mark Jarman
Combustion” by Sara Eliza Johnson
Farrow” by Kimberly Johnson

Poems for Chemistry Class

"John Correia, My College Chemistry Teacher" by Jorge H. Aigla
Periodic Table of Ethereal Elements” by Lucie Brock-Broido
Not Nothing” by Kimiko Hahn
For the Lobaria, Usnea, Witches Hair, Map Lichen, Beard Lichen, Ground Lichen, Shield Lichen” by Jane Hirshfield
Left-Handed Sugar” by Jane Hirshfield

Poems for Geology Class

Last Night We Saw South Pacific” by James Applewhite
First Probe” by Barry Ballard
Sunrise, Grand Canyon” by John Barton
The Museum of Stones” by Carolyn Forche
How Everything Was in the End Resolved in California” by Charles Foster
Parowan Canyon” by David Lee
Negotiations with a Volcano” by Naomi Shihab Nye
Stonemason” by James O’Hern
Field Note” by Eric Pankey
Springing” by Marie Ponsot
Two Views” by Wyatt Prunty
Stone Bird” by Pattiann Rogers
Stone” by Charles Simic

Poems for Physics Class

On Reading a Child’s Guide to Modern Physics” by W. H. Auden
Gravity and Center” by Henri Cole
Sentimental Atom Smasher” by Darcie Dennigan
Holy Cosmos” by Nathalie Handal
String Theory Sutra” by Brenda Hillman
For What Binds Us” by Jane Hirshfield
The Universe” by Joshua Henry Jones, Jr.
Einstein Defining Special Relativity” by A. Van Jordan
Dark Matter” by Jack Myers
1905” by Marilyn Nelson
Dark Matter and Dark Energy” by Alicia Ostriker
Quick Black Hole Spin-Change” by Edward Sanders
Space Station” by Tom Sleigh
Psalm” by Joshua Weiner


Poems for Math Class

Poems for Algebra Class

"Calculations" by Brenda Cárdenas
Kiss Over Zero” by George David Clark
An Equation” by Hyam Plutzik
The Meaning of Zero: A Love Poem” by Amy Uyematsu

Poems for Calculus Class

Living in Numbers” by Claire Lee
A Calculus of Readiness” by Liz Waldnor

Poems for Geometry Class

Burial” by Robert McAlmon
Design” by Billy Collins
Pythagorean Silence [excerpt]” by Susan Howe


Poems for Physical Education Class

At the Gym” by Mark Doty
Fast Break” by Edward Hirsch
"Sports History" by Brett Fletcher Lauer
A Boy Juggling a Soccer Ball” by Christopher Merrill
"Perfect Form" by Kamilah Aisha Moon
Baseball and Writing” by Marianne Moore
Swimming in the Presence of Lurid Opposition” by Sawako Nakayasu
Losing the 440-Yard Dash” by Afaa Michael Weaver


Poems for Study Hall

Sappho in Her Study” by Kelly Cherry
It is Night, in My Study” by Miguel de Unamuno
Dawn” by James Laughlin
Chance” by Molly Peacock


Poems for Arts Classes

Poems for Art Class

The Painting” by John Balaban
Dragged Mass” by Rick Barot
The Bed on the Wall” by Lauren Camp
To Jackson Pollock” by Mark Doty
For the Blind Man in the Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence” by Jeffrey Thomson
To S. M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works” by Phillis Wheatley

Poems for Drama Class    

Talk” by Kwame Dawes
Aureng-Zebe, Prologue” by John Dryden
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [All the world’s a stage]” by William Shakespeare
Untitled” by Amber Tamblyn
The Prisoner of Zenda” by Richard Wilbur

Poems for Music Class

Little Fugue” by Marianne Boruch
"Poem for the Tin-tun-teros" by Brenda Cárdenas
Song Out Here” by Juan Felipe Herrera
Ode to a Drum” by Yusef Komunyakaa
The Guitar” by Federico Garcia Lorca
Song Book” by Naomi Shihab Nye
Limitations” by Henrietta Cordelia Ray
The Silent Singer” by Len Roberts
The Everyday Enchantment of Music” by Mark Strand
The Junior High School Band Concert” by David Wagoner
That Music Always Round Me” by Walt Whitman