230. The Poet’s Occasional Alternative: Grace Paley

"The New York Times" wrote a piece called "Why Work When You Can Procrastibake?" It's a nice, light piece that makes one think about all of the things we do to procrastinate when there is work to be done. My students tend to play with fonts.  They spend a lot of time on them, both... Continue Reading →


228. Introduction to Poetry: Billy Collins

Reactions to Dead Poets Society are mixed.  Some romanticize it--people did when it came out.  I was learning to be a teacher when the movie came out and suddenly everyone wanted to teach kids to rebel and stand on desks.  More recently, I listened to a podcast where the hosts described the film as a... Continue Reading →

219. Beam 10: Ronald Johnson

Is it cheating to steal part of a post from another teacher and just stick it into my post? The Poetry Foundation published a piece by Eric Selinger titled "Ten Poems I like to Teach".  Some of the poems are familiar, and others are not.  At the very least, it provoked a lively comments section.... Continue Reading →

Memorizing Poems

I don't remember memorizing more than two lines of a poem. And I did it poorly. I'm never sure if it's "Two paths diverge in a wood" or "Two roads...." Of course, both are kind of wrong, one more than an other: It's "Two roads diverged in a yellow woods." For my graduate class on... Continue Reading →

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