Poetry Illuminated – Whitman & Neruda

Reading the poetry of Walt Whitman, Song Of Myself Illuminated, by Allen Crawford (Tin House Books):


Neruda’s Love Sonnet #17 on my arm. Feeling poetic today. Inspired.

Whitman: “Electrical, I and this mystery here we stand.”

Neruda: “te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras…”


End of the School Year Gratitude – Students and the IOP

I don’t usually write about my students because I wouldn’t want them to feel singled out (or outed in any way), so I’ll keep this nameless and general.

My students were incredible this year.  My freshmen were curious, argumentative, engaging, and fun, and we had excellent discussions on Oedipus (their collective disgust was perfect), The Moccasin Telegraph (read “Nests”), The Bean Trees, Old Man and the Sea, Lord of the Flies (kinda like high school), and other books.

My juniors and seniors in Creative Writing and Contemporary Literature were talented and hard-working, sarcastic, lively, critical, and intelligent.  Six of them were published in regional and national lit journals this year, and they earned those publications through hard work (drafts, revisions, and more drafts).

And my Integrated Outdoor Program group was beautiful.  Just beautiful.  The student leaders improved the group, and my first-year group was already strong to begin with.  Caving, reading “Desert Solitaire” and “The River Why,” rock climbing, swimming rivers, writing narratives, writing found poems, imitating Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,”, beating China, biking all over town, fishing, and gardening.

After such a difficult personal year last year, I couldn’t have asked for a better follow-up.

Thank you to all my students.