Snow woods for poetry hatred hypocrasy

in creative writing journal, teaching

Nine out of Ten Americans Know Which Path That Guy Took in Woods

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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