Friday, October 14, 2005

poetry is not the opiate of the masses

I wound up talking about music and poetry with some of my students during class yesterday. I surprised myself by admitting that I do write poetry. Apparently, to those who are some seven years younger than myself, I look like a poet, or at least someone who writes poetry. I am pleased to know that teenagers listen to, variously, Tom Waits, the Postal Service, Elliott Smith, Leonard Cohen, and the Mars Volta.

So during my prep period, I was helping the youngest skylark with an English paper on our old friend Mr. Rex, and one of the students came up to me, holding a book of poetry. I hadn't heard of the author (John Hicks?) and asked the student what he knew about him. He admitted to having just picked up the book, but added, "I've read, you know, Robert Frost and Leonard Cohen before." He paused. "And there's a feminist anthology back there that's pretty good."

Such earnestness!

The upshot of all this is that I may attempt to put together an anthology of student poems. We did one when I was sixteen, and I know it's in the library at the school somewhere. The few students I talked to in the library seemed pretty interested...

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