Friday, May 29, 2009

Just a Good Poem

Here's today's dilema:

I talked with my students this morning about how today's readers -- especially internet readers -- don't really read all that slowly or carefully. Instead, they skim and skip around. They click here and there, and they get easily distracted. They tend to have short attention spans. So, here's the dilema:

QUESTION: On this blog would it be better for me to write literary analysis which you'd likely skim or skip altogether or would it be better for me to link you to one good short poem you'd be more likely to read?

ANSWER: I think I'd rather have you read one good poem than anything I have to say.

And it just so happens that I have a new favorite poem. I love it so much I even copied it and hung it on my office door (which is a university professors ultimate tribute).

So today, feel free to skip and skim over anything I have to say (which you probably already have) -- but please read this carefully.


Jane of Seagull Fountain said...

The last two lines of this were quoted in the nytimes article that struck me last week (The case for working with your hands). At the time I wondered if it was the obsession with my garden that has converted me to manual labor, or just fed-up-ness with the ephemeral practice of writing.

It's so satisfying to see things grow straight and strong, and sadly, seems so much easier right now. Maybe it's just spring fever.

Josh said...

Jane - I also read that article, which is what turned me on to the poem. I was struck by just how plagued the business world is with controlling information and political maneuvering. How much more beautiful and simple is actual, useful work.

Anonymous - The One and Only said...

Amen. I have no interest in what you have to say. Of course, I'm also not going to go to the poem either. Yet I keep returning to this blog.

Meridith said...

Oh, I loved this poem.

I love how she describes work as required for real life, with rhythm and patience and satisfaction. Those who feel exempt from work in order to "live life to the fullest" miss out on the lasting joy that comes after a honest day's work.

Meridith said...

*an* honest day's work ;)

Professor Josh said...

Meredith -- yes, there's something so satisfying about honest, gritty work. Incidentally, it's great to see you're alive and kicking.

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