Mad Libs! What?
"Then a few other kids in the class started talking about how they hate poetry too and that it's dumb," my son continued.
This kind of talk is allowed in school?!
I asked my son what he would think if I offered my services to Mr. Knucklehead. I would happily volunteer to help teach the unit.
After not that much deliberation, the end result is that the potential for all the "Yo Mamma" jokes could be detrimental for all parties involved.
So on day 12 of our POETRY celebration let's welcome to the party a guest who unabashedly loves poetry so much he will eat it up.
I know what the speaker speaks of in Eating Poetry by Mark Strand. I understand what it means to be so happy about something that you just want to consume it. I would say this to my son when he was a baby all the time, and I sometimes still do say it to him now (a possible clue to why he may not want me in his classroom). "I just love you so much, I could eat you right up." It was/is true--figuratively, of course. I have no desire to gnaw his arm off. I have a feeling a teenager would be pretty darn gamey anyway. But when someone or something brings you such joy, you just want to hold ever part as close as possible. And that closest place may be in your belly.
The speaker, in Eating Poetry, however, is literally eating it, "Ink runs from the corners of my mouth," as the librarian shockingly observers him.
I get this speaker so well. I have often felt that hunger take hold after reading some good poetry. I crave to fill myself with more. So I am saddened by the fact that the students in, my son's class, may miss out on this opportunity for a feast because the teacher, like the librarian, though knowledgeable about the larger discipline of Literature, is being starved by the constraints of understanding and order. Poetry is about neither. Poetry is an experience.
"Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toe nails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own." ― Dylan Thomas
Plus it has zero calories and tastes damn good too.
So indulge all you want.
To start, read Eating Poetry by Mark Strand here:
while I fill my son's backpack with pages of some delicious goodies to share with the class.