Library of Congress

Site Title Here

The Library of Congress > Poetry & Literature> Poet Laureate > Past Poet Laureate Projects > Poetry 180 > Full List of Poems > Poem 015
{ site_name: 'Poetry', subscribe_url:'/share/sites/library-of-congress/poetry.php' }

Back to Full List of 180 Poems

The Poet

Loses his position on worksheet or page in textbook
May speak much but makes little sense
Cannot give clear verbal instructions
Does not understand what he reads
Does not understand what he hears
Cannot handle “yes-no” questions

Has great difficulty interpreting proverbs
Has difficulty recalling what he ate for breakfast, etc.
Cannot tell a story from a picture
Cannot recognize visual absurdities

Has difficulty classifying and categorizing objects
Has difficulty retaining such things as
addition and subtraction facts, or multiplication tables
May recognize a word one day and not the next

—Tom Wayman

From In a Small House on the Outskirts of Heaven, 1989
Harbour Publishing

Copyright 1989 Tom Wayman.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of Harbour Publishing. Copyright 1989 by Tom Wayman. For further permissions information, contact Harbour Publishing, P.O. Box 219, Madeira Park, BC V0N 2H0 (Canada),

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Tom Wayman was born in 1945 in Hawkesbury, Ontario, a pulp mill town on the Ottawa River. When he was 7 his family moved to Prince Rupert, a fishing and pulp mill town on the B.C. coast just south of the Alaska Panhandle. Wayman's father was a pulp mill chemist. In 1959, the family moved to Vancouver, B.C., where Wayman finished high school, and attended the University of B.C. He graduated in 1966 with a B.A. in Honors English. During his undergraduate years Wayman worked as a journalist on the Vancouver Sun, and on the UBC student newspaper The Ubyssey (of which he was editor-in-chief in 1965-66).

Learn more about Tom Wayman at Canadian Poetry Online