Thursday, May 21, 2009

Two Thoughts

This morning, as I grade final portfolios for my poetry workshop, two thoughts from William Stafford keep coming to mind.  Both are from "The Door Called Poetry," a chapter in his amazing book You Must Revise Your Life:

"Sometimes it seems to me the best equipment for being a teacher of talking and writing and reading--of communication--would be a wonderful rubber face that would register every nuance; my role would not be that of approving or disapproving, but simply (and it's not simple) that of realizing, realizing everything, all those amazing, miraculous connections that language and the mind make with each other."
and this sparkling bit:
"If an alert student would look at a page of poetry and say it is fat or skinny, I would feel better than if the student said it was iambic hexameter."


  1. I love the Stafford quotes, Gigi. In his prose on poetry, he had a real talent for cutting a path past the critical clutter and finding the real vitality of the poem, did he not?

  2. I agree, James. It's refreshing to read him, especially right now when my own head is filled with too much of that kind of clutter.


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