Notes for Classes

These notes are about things I learned from my students’ presentations over their research papers on modern poets. I want to keep the information somewhere visible and accessible, so that means the blog.

One student had a youtube video of Tony Harrison talking about his poetry. It was very interesting and I wrote “Blog: use to teach creative writing.”

“finding the shape is finding the poem” -> relate to blogging pedagogy on the visual of poetry

Another student presented on Philip Larkin, and specifically on his poem “Church Going.” He said that the church becomes education/higher learning, according to critics. “once I am sure there is nothing going on” and “flowers cut for Sunday, brownish now” seemed to be lines that would be relevant to a class on literature and belief, which I may be teaching in the next few years.

One of the critics said about Larkin’s work “simplicity does not mean simplexity.” I really liked that. It is relevant to a lot of modern poets, like Kay Ryan, a previous US Poet Laureate and a recent Pulitzer Prize winner, who came to speak at my community college just a few weeks ago.

Another student spoke of Paul Muldoon, particularly his poem “Monarch and Milkweed.” Then she showed a video of Muldoon’s band Rackett playing a song on YouTube. Muldoon apparently plays electric guitar. The song was interesting for several reasons.
1. I am intrigued by the fact that they assume everyone will get WWII references: “your mother was in the resistance… the Gestapo asking questions…”
2. “Juliet gave way to Romeo” which I am noting for my class where we do modern Romeo and Juliet references. I may never teach it again, since I am changing colleges, but in a class someday I will be able to bring that back in, possibly in Brit Lit I when I am teaching Shakespeare.

I love it when students introduce me to facts or ideas I didn’t know or missed the first time. These three students all got extra credit points for these. (I always give students two points if I learn something from them, which includes a new vocabulary word. I have learned three in the last ten years.)

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