From the Examined Life

I gave my students the chance to write a poem. It was never graded. I gave them a line, “Open the door…” and they had to take it from there. I wrote the poem above in response to a young woman in my Intro to Lit class who said, “I hate poetry. Do we have to read any?”

Of course they did. She ended up liking it partly because I could write some poems on the blackboard that I knew by heart. She loved that. A couple of years later, she gave me a present. A 150 year old book edited by Longfellow she’d found at a yard sale. It’s a treasure in and of itself but more because she thought of me when she saw it. It’s an anthology of European poetry from the Middle Ages to the Present (1850s or so…)

Every once in a while I find a fragment — one of the photos I took — from the 27 journals that comprised the Examined Life, and I stumbled on this one today.

7 thoughts on “From the Examined Life

  1. This makes me wish I could have had you as an instructor in my College English class which was dry and boring and we didn’t do any poetry except what I would write in the required journal. Oh I so wish….

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