I really shouldn't be playing with poetry right now; I should be grading. Serious. The stack is off the chain, at least five inches high.
But I had to show everyone this great surrealism exercise my Intro to Lit class did on Tuesday. We were starting a poetry unit and discussing Andre Breton's "founding" of surrealism when I decided to try out an exercise from the text. In the last ten-ish minutes of class, each student wrote one line of verse on a page, folded over their line so the next student couldn't see it, then passed it on. I collected the sheet before we dispersed (we HAUL out of there at 9:45am, most of us caffeine-starved and desperate) and I typed up the results last night. Tom was in the other room watching Mythbusters and having a scotch. I really wanted to join him. But once that poem came together on my screen-- I didn't change the order at all, only small additions of punctuation-- I couldn't stop reading it. I was proud of this group working together. The musicality of the second section is lovely, and the last line of the first section makes you re-read the entire piece differently.
I'm failing to mention that this group has some awesome in-class discussions. They aren't afraid to ask questions, and even though some of them are new to poetry, each of them appears to enjoy it. So, when I presented them with a handout of their collaborative work, their first question, naturally, was "Where should we publish it?"
Intro to Surrealism: A Collaborative Poem (Lit 115)
I'm drowning in a sea of doubt,
(if nothing at all, don't let yourself fall)
the everlasting grip of a daughter's hug,
over, under, around and through the hoops we wander.
Red roses fall from above.
Walking along the crooked path
a man strode down the road.
Drift on the ocean,
and the leaves finally fall to the ground.
I love dogs the same.
I woke up this morning hungry and thinking,
when the sun is setting for some it is rising for one.
How now, brown cow. How now, brown cow.
The sun shines brightly through the window
and the waterfalls cry from the mountains.
Yesterday I found a horse who didn't want to play.
Swiftly, take me away! Into the night!
Random thoughts and hampered iron dens atop the troughs of lending pens,
I'll be in outer space, but I got inner peace, to say the least.