Thursday, September 22, 2011

Welcome. Beware. You are all doomed.

Hi there.

This is a poetry "class." It is not classy. You will not be graded. I may curse. There will be assignments but they are totally optional. All I ask is that you engage me and the other participants. That's what the comment field is for.

I must be honest. I hate poetry classes. I abandoned an MFA after I learned that I could learn more on my own, and at a much lower cost. Well, and they kicked me out, so that helped my decision.

So why do this? Honestly, selfishly, to help keep busy. And it's been a long time since I've been able to talk poetry to people who also care about it. All ye who enter here, keep this in mind: we will not read essays by Phil Levine or Sharon Olds or Bob Hass. We will not discuss Li-Young Lee. EVER. If you want to read Aristotle, Sidney, Pound, and my mom, however, you are in the right place.

As I mentioned above, I'll post assignments. They are optional, but I think they should be fun for most of you. And if I like what you do, I may post the best ones here--with your permission of course.

Main thing is--we are here to have fun and maybe learn from each other. Y'all are not my students--you are my peers and we are here to share. Blah blah. Now I sound like a soft cheerleader or a troop mother. In any case. Have fun. Our first reading is by an old, really long dead (like 400 years) white dude who lived in England before Shakespeare penned his first play. It deals with, among other things, that bulwark (I have no idea if I used that word correctly) of English poetry, Iambic Pentameter. Enjoy!