Poetic Education

I am reading the poems in the 2010 Best American Poetry anthology and I will just say that I am not worthy.  For one thing, so far, all the poets have academic credentials in creative writing or literature or something related.  Mine are “elsewhere.”   Although one woman poet is a naturalist and combines her two halves beautifully.  Anyway, I took classroom instruction in poetry only one time and I did very badly.  (Perhaps, you might say, well, that’s obvious.)  I was much too young, and like many things that are new, I lacked preparation, even for the beginning level.  It is not fair, but there it is:  a beautiful young woman with long, fluffy blonde hair stole the teacher’s heart and she could do no wrong to his just and magical way of drawing her, if not the rest of us, down the road of romantic, rhyming poetry:  ABA, AABBCC, ABAB, etc., etc.  If this is poetry, I thought, I should have taken caculus (which I aced in graduate school).  Later, I found out that the teacher, quite old even then, had divided his home in half so he could live in one part while his wife lived in the other.  They did not speak.

 

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