Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Three Beautiful Things 01/13/10: Where I'm From, Problems with Hurricanes, Toasted Cheese Deluxe

1. I have never taught the Poetry Writing course at LCC, and today I subbed for the real instructor, Ken. I especially enjoyed listening to the students read from their "Where I'm From" poems and wish we'd had time to get all the way around the room.

2. I assigned my students some time to write about Victor Hernandez Cruz's poem " Problems with Hurricanes" and a lively, insightful, most enjoyable discussion ensued. Do you remember this poem? Or maybe you haven't read it? Here it is....have fun:

Problems with Hurricanes

A campesino looked at the air
And told me:
With hurricanes it's not the wind
or the noise or the water.
I'll tell you he said:
it's the mangoes, avocados
Green plantains and bananas
flying into town like projectiles.

How would your family
feel if they had to tell
The generations that you
got killed by a flying

Death by drowning has honor.
If the wind picked you up
and slammed you
Against a mountain boulder
This would not carry shame
to suffer a mango smashing
Your skull
or a plantain hitting your
Temple at 70 miles per hour
is the ultimate disgrace.

The campesino takes off his hat –
As a sign of respect
toward the fury of the wind
And says:
Don't worry about the noise
Don't worry about the water
Don't worry about the wind –
If you are going out
beware of mangoes
And all such beautiful
sweet things.

3. I loaded up a toasted cheese sandwich tonight with bacon, mushrooms, and dill pickles and it was a delight. So was the tomato soup.

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