He had the most unfortunate facial hair I’ve ever seen on a 23-year old college freshman. “Do I really have to write a poem for this class? I really hate poetry.”
Of course not, I assured him. He recognized from my tone — evidently I have a tone — that it wasn’t a misprint on the syllabus and that he would indeed have to write two poems for my creative writing class.
A few weeks later he came to class early and asked a favor. His long-suffering uncle had passed over the weekend and he wanted advice regarding a piece he had written for the funeral.
It was a poem.
It was heartfelt, homespun, lustily iambic and only five quatrains long. I told him to print extras because many people would ask for a copy. It could have been a compliment or just a simple observation of human behavior. From the tone I used, it could have gone either way.
Somewhere along the line, I guess I learned not to shit on the ironically impaired.
I don’t understand why people hate on poetry right up until the moment they want to celebrate a life, mark an anniversary, herald the return of Walter White or pimp jeans.
I also don’t understand why men walk around with really sad moustaches when it’s 100% preventable.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Billy Collins.
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