I am definitely a Type A personality, always rushing around, trying to do too much, not good at just lying on the beach. But I’m so thankful for everything I have: wonderfully supportive parents and sisters, the best husband in the world, terrific students I love teaching and hanging out with, and above all, my two amazing daughters.
For a lot of people, well-meaning teaching has made poetry seem arcane, difficult, a kind of brown-knotting medicine that might be good for you but doesn’t taste so good. So I tried to make a collection of poetry that would be fun. And that would bring out poetry as an art, rather than the challenge to say smart things.
We need sex education in schools, but we need it at home first. We need parents to learn the names of the teachers who are teaching their children. We need families to question day-care centers, to question other children and their own as to what goes on.
Teaching is in my bones. I love to teach.
You are almost not free, if you are teaching a group of graduate students, to become friends with one of them. I don’t mean anything erotically charged, just a friendship.
Besides the actual reading in class of many poems, I would suggest you do two things: first, while teaching everything you can and keeping free of it, teach that poetry is a mode of discourse that differs from logical exposition.
I loved teaching. It was my world. I only left because I was overwhelmed with three careers – teaching, writing, and my family.
I’ve been teaching classes on memoirs since 1986, and I’ve been reading them all my life, and I think that I would like to write a critical book that might have some of those how-to elements in it.
Poetry is as vital as ever. The teaching of poetry reading, however, is sluggish and, often, slovenly. It needs to be expanded in the school curriculum and be more a feature of society at large. The newspapers should all be carrying a daily poem. It should be as natural as reading a novel.
Machiavelli’s teaching would hardly have stood the test of Parliamentary government, for public discussion demands at least the profession of good faith.