Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Close to 20-below this morning. The windows are laced with frost. It ought to be maple-syrup season up here, but no sap is running in the trees. The Ice Queen is sovereign of all she surveys.

Yesterday I taught in a classroom in which a clutch of girls giggled at Whitman's "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking." I found myself looking at them serenely and remarking, "Yes, poetry is embarrassing, isn't it? It's all raw nerves and feeling. It requires a reader to risk caring about those nerves and feelings. I completely understand why you're laughing. Can't you imagine someone reading words that displayed your nerves and feelings, and then laughing? Kind of an unpleasant thing to picture, isn't it? Artists lay a lot on the line when they ask someone to take their art seriously. I'm glad you're figuring that out."

The girls looked at me and were quiet. Another teaching tool for the toolbox, it seems.

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