Thursday (Winding down…) Musings

It is the end of my week. Unfortunately, I’ve made myself work for the end of my week. I have office hours till 3, then I have a meeting with one of the librarians, then I have our first blank page meeting of the semester, and last but not least I have to come back at 7 and teach my creative writing class. The first week back is always difficult. It takes me awhile to teach my body that 6 am is a reasonable time to get up in the morning. However, I feel all this is worth it in order to not come in at all on Fridays. Also, Monday is MLK day, so I have a four day weekend. I’m ashamed to say I’m looking forward to it.

A colleague introduced me to and I’ve been listening to it at the office. Good stuff.

Nikki Giovanni has a new book out all about love. It’s called Bicycles: Love Poems and this poem appears in it:

We Are Virginia Tech

We are Virginia Tech
We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning
We are Virginia Tech
We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again
We are Virginia Tech
We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy
We are Virginia Tech
The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all this sadness
We are the Hokies
We will prevail
We will prevail
We will prevail
We are Virginia Tech

This poem interests me because in my thesis defense we briefly talked about handling social and political issues in poetry and how important it is. I admire what this poem is trying to do, but I’m not sure it does it. The language doesn’t seem strong or lyrical. Also, the entire poem seems expected. I understand the form and I understand the intention, but I think it could be more.

W. D. Snodgrass, who found the stuff of poetry in the raw material of his emotional life and from it helped forge a bold, self-analytical poetic style in postwar America, winning a Pulitzer Prize for his debut book, died on Tuesday at his home in Erieville, N.Y., in rural Madison County. He was 83.

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