Mar 29th, 2011
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.