Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22: Freshman Comp, Poet of the Week, Justin Runge, "History"

Tomorrow, my semester begins with a freshman composition night class.  Three-and-a-half hours of it.  We won't accomplish a whole lot.  Introductions.  Diagnostic essays.  And a poem.

Last winter semester, I taught an evening composition class, as well.  I started each class with a poem, used it as a jumping off point for the night.  I plan to do the same this semester.  I'm comfortable with poetry.  It relaxes me.  Excites me.  It eases me into teaching mode at the end of a long day.  And I think that relaxes and excites the students.

Justin Runge excites and relaxes me.  Until I found the poem below on the Internet, I'd never heard of him.  Now, I'm a little obsessed, enough to name him Poet of the Week and start my class with him tomorrow night.

Recollection.  History.  Love.  Saint Marty wishes he had written this poem.


by:  Justin Runge

Here is what I’ve collected: He set fire to the front lawn. She learned and then forgot the guitar. Like all daughters, she was a vegetarian. He was sent to school on the mountain. She would run through the mountain. Their siblings stood in the way. The mountain was beautiful but merciless. Its trees loomed like chaperones. He took to botany. She slept in the haunted room. After the growth spurt, he was a natural athlete. She worked at a fast food restaurant. Both left without diplomas. He sat in a bunker, catching moths. She would walk to a payphone in the center of town. They would solve crossword puzzles days late. He escaped on a motorcycle, as in his favorite songs. They married on her birthday. Her hair was never longer. She left a home imploding. He had a television and a frying pan. They made mistakes—pepper oil, poison ivy. They had one child, then me.

This is what my students will be doing tomorrow night.

1 comment:

  1. Lol, I'm thinking of the average beginning comp student hearing this poem and becoming a little concerned about what will be expected of them in your class....