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in defense of poetry, with apologies to Percy Shelley

I spent about six weeks this semester teaching and talking about poetry with my students.  Almost to a person, they started the term with “eh…I don’t much like poetry,” and “I don’t get poetry,” and “what the hell is poetry even about, anyway?” All reasonable questions, I guess, for students who have grown up in a world where they almost never encounter poetry, other than in song lyrics or spoken-word …

Thanksgiving

Sometimes, frankly, it seems like everything is just going to hell in a handbag: violence, poverty, hunger, disease, pollution…and that’s just in New York. We need this day of Thanksgiving – a pause that makes us remember all that we do have, reminds us that we can fight back against the sludgy tide of greed, inertia, and despair. To that end–a poem by Mary Oliver: Wild Geese You do not have to …