The Last Post for This Week Is A Poem

“Swept Up Whole”

You aren’t swept up whole,
however it feels. You’re
atomized. The wind passes.
You recongeal. It’s
a surprise.

Kay Ryan

And, an excerpt from the linked interview:


What do you think about the state of poetry and the reading of poetry in our country?

I never, ever worry about poetry or its survival because it’s the very nature of a poem to be that language that does survive. Poems are even better than tweets – they don’t require any electronic equipment. They can lodge right in your brain. They are by nature short. You don’t even have to remember all of them — you can remember just a phrase. That can be something you can turn to in any emergency, good or bad. You’ll pluck out a little group of words, just maybe a phrase, and that’s exactly what poetry is for. It’s for the things that really last. Because it lasts.

Proof I’m Learning Stuff

Well, at least about writing.

I got a paper back tonight. My first of the semester that wasn’t French. It earned an A. Nice surprise, considering I’d written it in a big hurry, pretty much until just before it was due.

A year ago, I don’t think I would have written a first paper – in that manner – that would have done as well.

I’m becoming way too comfortable with procrastination.

Also, I’ve learned just not to write about Jane Austen.

So far, I’ve gotten A’s and A-‘s on French papers.

My first French grammar midterm earned a B+ (89% – so close!), which relieved me. I remember leaving the testing center thinking I’d be perfectly content with a B. The exam ended with writing a short composition about the novel we’re reading. I remember feeling pretty good about the essay. The professor gave me a bonus point for style, with a little comment at the end: “Vous êtes poète!” Also, thank goodness for bonus points, for I  might have dipped down into B- or C range without them.

So, that balances the ridiculous crying I did today. If those good things hadn’t happened, I would have chalked today up as an epic loss. Of course there are worse things.

Thanks for the comforting texts, you. I wish I had a gold star to give.

Was It All the 1s in A Row or Something?

1/11/11: People outside “the bubble” seemed très occupés or surtout agacés or something. Nothing I could do, except probably be less annoying. I admit I can be annoying at times, but really, I haven’t done anything out of character. And people’s reactions are what they are.

Awesome things that happened today:

It was 1 degree this morning. Fahrenheit. It’s more impressive as Celsius: -17.

I blushed for nearly a full 75 minutes because someone decided to call on me three times throughout class AND decided to administer un intérro, after which that someone graded the quizzes one at a time as we stood in line to turn them in. In conjunction with my flushed face, I may have gotten close to 100% with the bonus question. The only reason I don’t know my exact score is I was too scared to look over the professor’s shoulder while she held her mighty red pen. I did notice that there weren’t giant slashes as on some other quizzes, but instead tiny slits, maybe indicating half-point deductions. And maybe there were two of those. Again, I was scared to look, so I’m not certain.

Part of that classroom experience today was my changing seats in class. I was no longer in the front row, but me câchais behind a new friend who served her mission in Madagascar. And the instructor, with her sixth sense, could tell I was hiding. But I was relieved when she pulled out the photo class roster and starting calling students au hasard. It’s just a little stressful when I’m 1) at the top of the alphabet and 2) the teacher knows who I am for a different reason than 1).

Oh, other awesome things:
1) I had lunch with a good friend, and our parting always results in a big hug.
2) I found out about some submission conditions for some symposia where I’d like to present.
3) I made a new friend in another class who is quite cute, but in accordance with my luck or style, this will not progress beyond a platonic level.
4) I realized I like William Wordsworth quite a bit, although I wasn’t entirely sold on him during the assigned reading this past week.
5) I felt extra alert during classes today. Relaxed situations intermingled with rigorous intellectual training seemed to be in perfect proportions. It was cool.
6) I helped coordinate a Free Club reunion. If you’re not already a member or otherwise haven’t been introduced, don’t worry about it.
7) I had fun text conversations with some friends. This is nothing new, but it’s still awesome.

Now, let’s see what tomorrow brings! Hopefully, more of the same.

Un Autre Poème

En Français 202, nous étudions les Moyens Ages. Aujourd’hui, nous avons discuté Charles d’Orléans et sa poésie. Son poème, “Le Printemps”, est un rondeau. Ils sont faciles à identifier, parce que il y a un refrain, et le première et dernière lignes répètent.

Le temps a laissié son manteau
De vent, de froidure et de pluye,
Et s’est vestu de brouderie,
De soleil luyant, cler et beau.

Il n’y a beste, ne oyseau,
Qu’en son jargon ne chante ou crie :
Le temps a laissié son manteau
De vent, de froidure et de pluye.

Riviere, fontaine et ruisseau
Portent, en livrée jolie,
Gouttes d’argent d’orfaverie,
Chacun s’habille de nouveau :
Le temps a laissié son manteau.

De tout façon, en groupes, notre classe a écrit des rondeaus d’une saison. C’est ce que notre groupe a créé. Ils m’ont fait écrire et lire à haute voix. J’étais très nerveuse:

Les arbres se déshabillent
Les feuilles tombent lentement
Le terre accepte les vêtements des arbres

Les enfants jouent dans les feuilles
Il pleut avec rouge, orange, et jaune
Leurs joues deviennent rouge

Le soleil se couche
Tout le monde est tranquille
Les arbres se déshabillent

La classe a applaudit, parce que nous sommes génieux. Bien sûr.

Early New Year’s Morning

silver rind hangs from a sparkle
suspended in dark blue gloaming
that bleeds onto imposing indigo shadows
casting upon glowing pinkish silence
that will progress to a crunchy white
and reflect clarity
amidst brown bright noise
drowning frosted sighs
that wait
and dissipate
to answer to
the pallid pendulum
of that eternal
chromatic clock