With one painfully boring exception, I loved my English classes in college. I majored in History because I knew I could do it well; I majored in English because it meant I got credits for reading novels and poetry. Hey, it seemed a good idea at the time, even if it meant that I wrote about five bazillion papers in four years. For this I am still making student loan payments.
It also means that when I listened to "Prairie Home Companion" spoof English majors on Sunday, I instinctively started to think about post-structuralism and its relationship to gender identity and deconstructionism.
Anyway, this is apparently National Poetry Month or some such because people keep sending me poems. These are normal, rational-seeming folks, and it is nice to see what gets sent my way... certainly a break from the usual dross of life.
I'm noticing something, though - almost all of the poems (upwards of 20) are old chestnuts. There's nothing wrong with "Two roads diverged in yellow wood/ and sorry I could not travel both" it's just that even as a freshman in college I was sick of it. Wordsworth's poem about daffodils is terrfic, but again, it's so over-used and repeated.
Now. I'm not arguing that we should all memorize "The Man From Snowy River" (up the Australians!) or that "Dulce et Decorum Est" doesn't make me cry (it does) but Frost and Owen and Dickinson and their kin did write other pieces.
P.S. There's a bumper sticker that says, "If You can read this thank a music teacher." (Then there's a few bars of Beethoven.) Official thanks to the teacher who first walked me through Paradise Lost.