Students tend to think of poetry as an English teacher problem. "Oh, man," their attitude seems to be. "Only an English teacher could love something like poetry. Me, I can't understand any of it, except maybe the poems I read in elementary school." Ironic, given how much students love music, because music means lyrics and … Continue reading William Blake, British Rockers, and a Chariot of Fire
I've been reading a book of poems edited by Czeslaw Milosz and enjoying his commentary before each poem as much as the poems themselves. Called A Book of Luminous Things, the volume will forever enjoy a special place in my heart because I bought it in a distant town that I was visiting and had … Continue reading Milosz on Merwin’s “Utterance”
One of the profoundest things I learned in college came from an English professor who was once a prisoner of war during WWII. He said he kept his sanity thanks to memorized poetry. Each day, throughout the drudgery and misery of his captivity, he would recite poems in his mind - words he had captured … Continue reading Why You Should Memorize a Poem
Nothing sets people off more than the word "free." You can place furniture, toys, tools, a jar of ketchup, or whatever on your curb, crown it with the four-letter placard "FREE," and watch it go because, as Solomon once said, "One man's garbage is another man's treasure--and we all treasure free stuff, especially when that … Continue reading Free, free, free!