Saturday, March 12, 2011


My plan to prioritize poetry in my life this year has now become a maniacal craze. The problem started when I discovered that I write best while something else is going on, preferably a dull philosophy department colloquium talk. But then I started writing during interesting talks, and then during important talks... It's gotten so that as soon as a speaker stands behind a podium, lines of poetry leap into my brain and my fingers start tapping out the rhythm of lines in iambic pentameter.

This week, I wrote two poems while I observed a prize-nominated class in Geography. I wrote a poem while observing the recitations led by my terrific TAs for my Intro to Ethics class. I wrote a poem during the spectacular opening night talk by philosopher Charles Mills at the Morris Colloquium.

Now, I did also pay attention to the class, and to the recitations, and to the lecture. But I have to confess that my attention was somewhat divided.

Yet, what can I do when I sit down, and all of a sudden, as if hypnotized, I start writing.

(title) How to Write a Poem

(first line) Well, first you need a lacerated wound...

Then I'm a goner!


I write a sonnet almost every day.
I've come to think in five iambic feet.

And it's true. That IS how I think these days. Oh, well, at least I am writing a lot of poetry. And I apologize to every speaker who has had me as a member of his audience.

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