Things I Learned Last Week

Your blogs are amazing this week:  I hope you enjoyed the writing as much as I’m enjoying reading your writing.  Tomorrow, as you know, we’ll have the time, as a class, to build on your insights and questions, and to work on the final project.  Here, in the meantime, is the poem I read to you in class.  I want to talk with you about how Stafford accomplishes what he does in such a short space.  Any ideas?  What are the secrets to this form — which is just a list?

Things I Learned Last Week
– by William Stafford

Ants, when they meet each other,
usually pass on the right.

Sometimes you can open a sticky
door with your elbow.

A man in Boston has dedicated himself
to telling about injustice.
For three thousand dollars he will
come to your town to tell you about it.

Schopenhauer was a pessimist but
he played the flute.

Yeats, Pound, and Eliot saw art as
growing from other art. They studied that.

If I ever die, I’d like it to be
in the evening. That way, I’ll have
all the dark to go with me, and no one
will see how I begin to hobble along.

In The Pentagon one person’s job is to
take pins out of towns, hills, and fields,
and then save the pins for later.

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4 Responses to “Things I Learned Last Week”

  1. […] on Facebook. Her Facebook posts took a form that made me think of William Stafford’s poem, “Things I Learned Last Week,” and the way I use that poem’s writing strategy to help people find the specifics in their […]

  2.   Woodscroneon 23 Jun 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Oh! to be reminded that each and every day we have the opportunity to learn something new if we just look for and see it.

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