Friday, December 19, 2014

Eating Poetry

Eating Poetry

by Mark Strand
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry. 
The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress. 
The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up. 
Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep. 
She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams. 
I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

Why are we talking about eating poetry? Well, I have found that one of the best ways to sink into words is to make them yours. To ingest them. To memorize them.

Remember how we ended first semester last year with presentations? Well this year is going to be no different in that respect, except that you don't have to write anything. You will be memorizing at least 50 lines of poetry (no children's poetry -- something from our book or approved by yours truly) and reciting it in front of the class during finals week. 

I let you know now because this can take time as those of you who have been in theater well know. It's not much, though. Miss Scrooge is going to kill this. So will you. Start thinking. I know there's a lot to eat over Christmas Winter Break, but save some room for eating poetry.

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