Posted by: Tom Triumph | February 1, 2009

8. A theory of communication: Bob Hicok

In an attempt at inspiring my young charges to live life now, while they are young and can enjoy it, I used a series of poems around this theme. Bob Hicok’s is one I plan to use, along side T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” The kids struggle with Eliot (not a surprise), although measuring out one’s life with coffee spoons is an excellent bridge as they sit and stare at me while clutching their morning fake latte (yes… lattes at thirteen! …bought by their parents! ….and they are those faux lattes that come out of the same nozzle as hot chocolate and ten our sugary drinks).

What do you wish you could say now?

That you love your parents?
That someone’s friendship means something?
That you enjoy school?
Someone is important in your life?
You like….

Why don’t you say it? Regret. It’s never too early. Don’t start. Write it. On a piece of paper. Fold it. Fold it again. Put it into a box. The teacher’s box. Now what? Act.

I encourage anyone and everyone to check out the Winter 2008 edition of “The Gettysburg Review” or any of Mr. Hicok’s poetry collections.

Buy this or other Hicok texts!

I seek only to promote great art for our tweeners.

A theory of communication
by Bob Hicok

He came upon a can tied to a string,
rusted, and listened to this probably
tomato soup, propably kite, what the string
was meant to hold, the sky, in its tug,
saying blue is the color of the wind.

and there it was, his own voice
from thirty years ago, telling the girl
he liked the smell of her hair,
which he could never say to her face,
when she dropped the can and moved away,

to Toledo, it was said on the playground,
where punches lived and the first bell
was ignored, thinking he should answer
himself, now that he’d learned, but what
had he learned, he couldn’t say, so he said that

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Responses

  1. Oh, how I wish Bob Hicok’s poetry had been around when I was in school! I have a number of his books and met him when he won the Bobbitt Prize in DC. If anyone can get kids into poetry, he can!

    But I also love Eliot – and strangely, became a fan at 10 when I went to see “Cats.” Most of the text in the musical is taken from his “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.” It’s wonderfully evocative of so much that is England – it had me looking up the word “spats” and other words we don’t use much anymore.


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