Poetry Club, day 15

Obviously, I picked this poem because of the title. And because it says in such eloquent detail how stories like Romeo and Juliet can’t be fully appreciated until we’re old enough to look on our teenage selves with wisdom. But, hey, we probably wouldn’t go back to it if we weren’t introduced to it in the first place, when we were young, star-crossed lovers.

Again, Tania, thank you. Wish I could’ve used it.


Teaching Shakespeare


They hold no loyalties to the star-crossed lovers,

their books resting lightly in their hands, pencils tapping,

urging me to gallop apace so the two can put themselves

out of their misery.

It’s nothing but a lust story;

he saw her work those curves in some circle dance,

and that was it.

I press: is it possible? Is it remotely

conceivable that they loved?

                                       Hey, we go to parties

and check each other out. We know nothing

about love. But we’d never die for looks

like those morons.

They all nod in agreement, and I fear

the slow, dreadful flowering of the remaining scenes,

the doodling, the glaring out of windows, my own

growing conviction that Romeo would have played the


had he lived three more days.

The class genius stares


at his neighbor’s blonde ponytail, then blurts,

So who’s this Tie-balt?

To her melodious laughter.

I can only look down and smile, remembering my own

foolish fortune,

when I allowed my mind to sculpt itself

around a startling green eye, or a lock of hair hanging


a boy’s forehead.

I wish I could tell them, it’s all true—

all of it. We know nothing about love for a long, long


I wish I could tell them how I rode my bike a mile

out of the way to catch a glimpse of Teddy at his


hoop; how I hid my perfect trig scores from Kevin;

how for David, I ringed my eyes with so much smoky


they watered;

how for no love at all I took a little

of my life

every day.


Tania Runyan


Your turn.


  1. I’d never read this poem of Tania’s. So good…..(you need to write another book “The Joy of Poetry–the Outtakes.”)

  2. I LOVE this poem! I rode back and forth between thoughts of Shakespeare, Tania’s classroom observations, her account of her young life and memories of my own.

  3. Love this.

  4. “how for no love at all I took a little

    of my life

    every day.”

    That Tania can write.