Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Listening to: Patrick O'Hearn, Mix-Up (I don't know why).

Most of my students are in the library this week doing research for their final essays. This gives me some time to catch up on a few other things.

World Lit class is covering Crime and Punishment, one of the greatest novels of all time. This is my first time to teach it. My class seems enthusiastic, but we are going so slow. I don't think we will cover anything else before the end of the semester.

Recovery going fine, though I have had some fatigue and soreness the past couple of days. I can't quite account for this.

Went to the Bone Star Jam last Saturday and saw Kansas and some local bands. Was really fun. Kansas played about three songs I haven't heard them do in concert before including all of "Magnum Opus". Sound was great and though we were pretty far back, we could see most of what we wanted. Alex went with Brad, Nikki, and I, and I think she had a great time.

It was a big weekend for her. She had a retreat and soccer game (they won 3-1, go Sugar and Spice!), and then the concert. The next day was her First Solemn Communion. Much thanks to Jenn and Donnie for coming out for that one. Then she had to take pictures for Girls Scouts. Last night, her strings class performed at the Eisemann. Mucho merci buckets to my wife for being willing the chaperone that!

Looking forward to summer. I like what's left of my classes and enjoy my students, but I need a break. My body is breaking down and I need to recharge my spiritual and emotional batteries. I would like to work out a schedule where I write for an hour or more in the morning, spend the day with the family, and spend an hour or so each night doing revision of some novels I've already written. If all goes well, I could have at least a new novel and my e-book on writing finished (at least in good drafts) I could revisions of two novels ready to submit for publication. All before classes start in August.

Read X.J. Kennedy's Dark Horses some time ago. Wish I'd written a review while I still had it fresh in my memory. Mr. Kennedy writes formal verse or poems that build from traditiona forms. They are humerous often (sometimes dark and sardonic). In "Emily Dickinson Leave a Message to the World," the poetess tell us: "Though often I had dialed adn rung/The Bastion of the Bee --/The Answer I had hungered for/Was seldome Home -- to me--" Some of Kennedy's poems are tranquil and as the cover says, "meditative." Note the following from: "Staring into a River Till Moved by It:" "Inert, your hand dropped from my hand./Unbudged. rocks in the stream stood/And as we dragged our shoes to land/The drydocked trees raised hulls of wood." Anyway, I liked the book and recommend it particularly to anyone who enjoys rhymed verse. Actually I recommend it also to those poets who can't seem to believe anything creative can be done with traditional forms.

Have been reading a poem a day to my students (well, most days I have) in honor of National Poetry Month. Don't know how the students enjoy it, but it has been much fun for me. Trying to mostly use poets who are alive and still writing (though I did begin with Thomas Merton's "For My Brother: Missing In Action, 1943." Have read from Eliot's "The Waste Land" too.). I'm thinking I need to do Anna Akhmatova soon, and perhaps a Carver poem since some of my students are writing about his story "Cathedral." Perhaps "Photograph of my Father."

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