Poetry Friday: Heading back to school with “School People”

Hard to believe it’s time for our kids to head back to school again – although admittedly under different circumstances than past years.

But through all the changes we’ve dealt with this past year and a half, one thing that doesn’t change are our school people – the folks who teach, support, and care for our children while they are away from home.

So I thought I’d share a couple of selections from Lee Bennett Hopkins’ School People (Wordsong, 2018), a collection of 15 poems by various writers including Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Irene Latham, J. Patrick Lewis, and Yours Truly.

I’ve shared my contribution, the poem ‘Bus Driver,’ a couple of times here before, so today I wanted to re-share Lee’s poem, ‘Librarian.’ (You can view my original post and interview with him HERE)

©2018 Wordsong, all rights reserved, reprinted with permission (Click to enlarge)

It’s sad to think, Lee passed away almost exactly 2 years ago, and although he won’t be able to see his final few anthologies that were in various states of progress when he passed, his legacy of poetry and love of language will live on in the poems and books he wrote as well as in the words of those of us he befriended, supported, and guided.

No matter how many poets come along, there will never be another Lee.

For all of today’s poetry links and fun, please visit Unexpected Intersections where Elisabeth is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup with a spotlight on her response to a poetic challenge to write in a style similar to a Jane Yolen poem – Yikes, no pressure!


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14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Heading back to school with “School People”

  1. lindabaie

    The first thing my younger granddaughter told me this past Monday after her first day at school was they got to go to the library! Although school was re-opened last March, the library was not. Your poem is one to relish for all of us who love libraries & librarians! Great choice, Matt. We’ll be grateful to Lee for his books for years and years.


  2. Elisabeth

    He leaves a legacy that we can continue to cherish and bring to new readers for a long time to come. A perfect poem for the start of the school year – thanks for sharing this!


  3. Janet F.

    A perfect book for right now! This book is a favorite for so many reasons. My 40 + years as a teacher being one, but also the terrific poems that reflect the life of schools. Books, librarians who care, poets who bring it all to life….like Lee and you, Matt, and so many others from this one whom I know and admire. Lee was amazing. I am grateful he took me under his wing and that he did that for so many many others. His love of doing his best for kids was at the core, a teacher to the end. A poet’s poet, a friend’s friend, a mentor’s mentor. Since I have always been in the NE, school always starts after Labor Day! So this is perfect timing, too, for me.


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