Betty offered "Lenore Kandel and others," Trina offered "Cornelius Eady," Ann offered "5 men," Rebecca discussed "a trip uptown," Ruth offered "Nancy Boutilier," Kat provided a critique via "8 Major Young Poets?," Marcia suffered through "take hold!" (bland poetry, if you haven't read her post yet), Stan attempted to give "Damon Runyon" a fair break, Elaine sampled "Baby Toes" while Mike explored poetry in verse and in song with "Robert Duncan, Graffiti6" while Wally & Cedric continued the theme by offering the Florida primary results in poetic verse "THIS JUST IN! RHYME AND REASON!" & "The poetic primary."
I had fun reading them and I hope you did as well.
Sunny compiled a list of questions in e-mails.
Did I ignore the canon completely?
I went to college. You couldn't escape the canon. But while I gladly read The Little Prince, Peter Pan, etc. as a child, I wasn't interested in the canon in college. For good reason too, the bulk of that canon has fallen by the way side.
Marcia's post on the book of Pulitzer Prize winning poems? A lot of the canon was clever word play that meant very little.
So C.I. was into the canon?
C.I. would laugh at that. C.I. brought women into the classroom. The same way she quotes women songwriters in her online writing, she'd do that with women poets, novelists, etc. She carved out the place for women in so many courses -- including western political thought.
To do that, she had to be familiar with not only what she was bringing in but also how it applied to the canon authors so she learned that way but she was never fed by the canon and would be the first to say so.
A very good friend of her's was on a soap opera and having the worst time with bad scripts. So she was attempting to ad lib. Sometimes it was working, sometimes it wasn't. In one of the genius moments she had that year (the friend was with the soap for several years -- I think three), she built a throw away scene around a Carl Sandburg poem. That was C.I.'s suggestion. C.I. recited the one CS poem she knows by heart and talked her though it. The woman ended up using it very well immediately but, for filming, took it even further and it was a big moment for her on the soap that garnered her a great deal of (deserved) critical attention.
C.I. reads poetry regularly but her favorite is the prose poem.
Was I surprised by Rebecca's choice?
No. When I read her post, I could immediately see her copy of A Trip Uptown in my head. That book had some great illustrations and some great poems -- including one about an orgy if I'm remembering correctly. Rebecca brought that book to college and it was often a coffee table book at our place. (Rebecca, C.I. and I had a place together in college.)
Did I ever want to be a poet?
Never. I also didn't write poetry other than what was assigned (and since I've only written it on pieces I've worked on Third with). I don't have the talent, never thought I did.
Rebecca can write verse. She can do with any meter. She's very good at it and can write some of the most tragic love poems. I'm not joking. She just always had a gift for it.
If C.I. has to write poetry, she starts with a melody, I'm not joking. She would turn it into a song writing assignment. They would stand out.
It could be very intimidating living with those two but also very educational.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):