October 2003

Allyson Blomeley

english majorette

Poetry class

I know everyone is just dying to find out what kind of literature we'll be discussing this fall. Right?

Right?

I'm sensing a lack of enthusiasm here, people. But no matter, I'll tell you anyway.

This fall is our long awaited Introduction to Poetry. In my neck of the woods this is a required class for English majors. I always regarded poetry as interesting, but an odd subject to be required.

It turns out that poetry is much cooler than I thought. I apologize to the readers who wanted me to pitch a fit over this class, but it's true. Poetry may not be everyone's chosen piece of pie, but it's mine.

So welcome to LIT 241: Introduction to Poetry. Here are your basic stats:

The professor: Dr. G, a fairly agreeable man, is former head of the creative writing department. Good sense of humor, but the moment he gets a hint of stupidity on the class's part he gets rather huffy before belatedly realizing his mistake. Not bad, for blindly choosing a professor (I transferred this term).

Unfortunately the class is somewhat large, as this is a prerequisite for almost every literature class in the department. Still, it's not as if the students are pouring out of the classroom windows. I'm just glad that the course is not in a lecture hall with upwards of one hundred or more other students. Viva la small school, indeed.

Only a month into the course and we have had one test, one paper, and recited Dorothy Parker's "Resume." For those of you who have never been exposed to the fabulous Ms. Parker (and if you are deliberately visiting this site, then I assume you have -- after all, Dorothy Parker's sense of humor seems to be an intrinsic quality for those who dwell here) I include the poem here.

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

-Dorothy Parker, "Resume"

Now imagine a class of about thirty people chanting this in a singsong fashion. Cheerful, isn't it? Try it yourself. See if you can figure out the rhythm.

And consider this: he had us chant this after a test. As in minutes after. Isn't there something wrong with this picture?