Monday, September 21, 2015

A Lasting Education in Appreciating Poetry :(

The classroom is still a tent. It seems bigger or I am sitting further back. The school must have shuffled the students when moving to the next class. No one I know is in my section.

The teacher seems far and the blackboard small. I am anxious. I had to learn the poem, 'If you don't succeed at first...". I dread the thought of being called. I am called and the memory after that fades, except that it did not end happily.

Was I standing in front of the class, tongue-tied? I just don't know. All that remains is a sense of panic.

A decade later, I am in a cozy, compact class on English literature. The only reason I am in the class is that I need to take two courses in English to get a degree. A fellow student has brought a guitar. She is singing "I want to put beans in my ear".

The professor is discussing the topic of poetry. She wants to know why I do  not have any opinion or comment to offer. My mind just goes blank. She probes me further - finally, I relate the above incident. She commiserates with me as she believes that memorization and recitation of poems in schools have ruined poetry for many, including me!!

I am happy that I can at least enjoy some novels in verse -  like the Golden Gate.

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