November 20, 2007


Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

Back in my senior year of high school every student had to memorise “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost. As we stood on the cusp of graduation, one by one we had to stand in front of the class and recite the well known poem to our classmates. If we didn’t do it, we didn’t graduate.

I never figured out the importance of memorising that poem but I was thankful that was all we had to do in the poetry unit in English 12.

Fast forward 21 years to “English 102”. For the past three weeks I’ve had the task of reading an endless array of poems, “cracking them open” and sharing their meaning on the discussion board with my cyber-classmates. To keep it all interesting, we had to write about the works of one of three poets: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson.

I BS’d my way through a five page essay on the works of Dickinson. She was a recluse and she gazed out a window. Maybe she was a lesbian. I always choose the gay one. I’ll be pleased with any grade, I did the best that I could.

The theme of “Don’t Tell ME What To Read!” is going to continue right through the end of the semester and then my English obligations will be met. I wish I could wrap my head around poetry, I really do, but the closest I want to come to Shakespeare is watching an episode of Bewitched that features Samantha’s father Maurice quoting ol’ Bill himself. I just can’t get a grasp on the coy way of saying something without coming out and just saying it. Hell, I’ve never been able to tell if a guy was interested in me unless they walked up, grabbed my crotch and said “let’s do it now”, how am I suppose to know if a brow through forty winters is suppose to be an ugly old hag or not?

I have just one assignment left in this English class and that is to write a paper on “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams. Thank god they production is coming to the college so I can watch the thing.