do not go gentle into that sorta OK post
My junior year in college, I took a poetry class as part of my ever fluctuating major requirements. I thought it would be interesting to sit around with my classmates, my fellow intellectuals, my real life Dead Poets Society. When I rushed in for the first day of class, however, I found it severely lacking in Ethan Hawkes. Instead, the room was filled with other clueless classmates staring at a man at the front of the room with a head of manic ivory white hair and wearing an unironic tweed jacket so infused with the scent of cigarette smoke I wondered if it hadn't actually been woven from the leaves of the very first tobacco plant ever grown. When he introduced himself to us as Doctor, I knew we weren't going to just sit around and listen to pretty, pretty poems, but we were, in fact, going to have to write our own.
As soon as he told us that, before adding that we'd also be critiquing our works in class, I wanted to die. "Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee and my fear of poetry," I thought (except, you may note by that thought, I was already a poet and didn't know it)(heh...). Before Dr. Ivory N. Tweed was halfway through the syllabus, I was plotting the quickest route to rage, rage against the dying light at the end of the registrar's line to drop this class.
Then he told the class about the many published collections of poems he'd written about King Kong and I thought, "Oh, I am in like Flynn!" (still with the poetry, btw!) because other than the words ding and dong, what can someone rhyme with the name of a giant ape? If such a thing can be a fertile muse, then easy A, yo!
Turns out, you don't have to rhyme in poetry, friends. I learned that after turning in my first attempt, which came back with more red slashes from the good doctor than actual poorly attempted stanzas on my part. I wish I had it to include here, but if I recall correctly, I think it was about snowflakes and their fickle hearts and melting spirits. It was from that work I learned the meaning of trite, which the the professor so kindly defined for me between my verses.
I wish I could find the poems I wrote that semester because I don't recall a single one beyond my snowflake sonnet. However, I can recall the work of a classmate who penned the following after we were assigned a poem about something we loved:
The score is tied. We have to fight.
I grab the rebound. I check the clock.
He's open for the pass. I ignore his spot.
Dribble, dribble, dribble I do
Down the court to shoot for two
The orange ball spins 'round the rim
The shot is good! We crowd goes wild!
Hooray! Hooray! We won today!
Inspiring, is it not? Oh, had Shakespeare only thought to have Romeo stop for a quick pick up game before meeting Juliet in the tomb! You'll note the author started off strong, but then seemingly shot his wad after he shot his ball, and the poem seemed to fall apart. However, the fact I can recall this from memory nearly 20 years later, and none of my own poetic attempts speaks to one's view of art, perhaps. I mean, we all know about that girl from Nantucket, do we not?
When the class finally ended, I earned a solid B for my collected works, which I imagine will one day be unearthed in my mother's basement and published upon my death from mysterious circumstances or at the hands of a former lover...OR BOTH! While I can't give you any of my former works, this post does serves as a way for me to give you the words that follow, which I found over the weekend while cleaning out the drafts folder in my email account:
growl growing up from his chest
blah, blah, blah, eye roll, blah
Whatever the case, the reality is, I just wrote another long-winded post about nothing that allowed me to clean out my engorged email folders, and you all played along. Thank you and you're welcome.
(Also, feel free to share with me any awesome poetry attempts or haikus you have. Just don't be sad if they don't live up to the majesty that is Untitled. We can't all be poet laureates on our first attempt - need I remind you of Basketball?)