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“There Was a Man of Double Deed,” by Anonymous (Guest Reader!)

December 21, 2010

This one’s like a ship without a belt.

Poetry textbooks have these flaws, maybe not fatal but dire enough:  They’re expensive.  They don’t include the same poems I want to teach.  And they rarely surprise (even in new editions…which are more expensive…and still don’t match the perfectly fluid reading list in my head).

So a few years ago, I quit on them.  I started assigning one good, cheap book about writing (like this) and sending students to explore a different website each week and bring back poems to read and study together.

For students, less mundanity like “For Tue, rd pp this to that” and more vavoom of discovering something their own selves.  For me, staying on top of my game (because who knows exactly what we’ll be reading next week?), a never-stale trove of poems, and always a little help for the future because–let’s not be delicate–I steal the best finds in one class as recommendations for the next.

That’s how Erika Schultze found today’s poem, one of her semester favorites. She recorded it last week, with her own poems.  It’s a weird one, and I like it too.

Erika read from this mini-article by Robert Pinsky at Slate.com (which features a poem read aloud by its author every week).

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 21, 2010 4:37 pm

    Good call! Searching, finding, sharing and exploring seems wise and alive!
    I like your style. And I like Erika’s selection and reading!

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