The Unlikely Poet
I love those first days after a semester starts--days you finally start to bond with your class. You get to see their personalities, get to joke around with them, get to watch them be attentive and bend over their work and try to do well to impress you.
Today we wrote for the first time since the beginning of class on Monday. We did our intro to poetry yesterday, defined some poetic techniques today, and then got into it. Today we worked from personal experiences. Tuesday, when we come back from our Labor Day break, we'll start working on poems that are jumpstarted from things or ideas outside the realm of personal experience.
Anyway, we had about 15 minutes of writing time where we all sat down--me included--to write poems from a list of important (maybe big, maybe small) life events. I told them if anyone wanted to come up and have a one-on-one if they got stuck or needed help, they were more than welcome to come sit with me for a bit. And I got about five or six people who came up for help, wanted me to read a draft.
I had one student plop his notebook down on the table and say, "I don't get poetry. I don't know how to write it."
So I read the four lines he had written on the page. It was the best work I'd read from the class.
I think this is going to be even more fun than I originally thought.